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Afghan salons forced to shut shop: No worries! The US, UN willingly pay lip service to the plight of women under Taliban

Manoj Kumar Rohilla | Updated on: 27 July 2023, 9:54 IST
Afghan salons forced to shut shop (ANI)

New Delhi: Taliban reigns supreme in Afghanistan. Why can't women in Afghanistan fathom this simple fact? Women in Afghanistan no longer fit into the priority list of the West - a scenario hugely evident after the chaotic withdrawal of the US from Afghanistan on August 30, 2021.

Yes, thousands of Afghan salons have shut shop, and around 60,000 women have lost their jobs. Apart from the business aspect, women lose a place where they could freely interact with each other and enjoy the basic right to take care of themselves. A salon used to be a freedom square for Afghan women, but the Taliban never hid its intentions, even when the US entered into a shady deal with the Taliban.

The US and the UN understand the importance of a salon in the life of an Afghan woman. So, they are always willing to pay lip service to women's rights.

The UN Secretary-General's special representative in Afghanistan, Roza Otunbayeva, told Reuters that the ban "will disproportionately impact female entrepreneurs, which is a setback for resilience, poverty reduction, and economic recovery."

As per the International Labor Organization (ILO), the ban will create a "significant" decrease in women's employment.

The world is concerned about Afghan women - they are making big statements.

The Western media has at least published one story narrating the ban and its likely impact on women. Now, if you want to see reporters questioning the US, UK, and UN about the steps taken to improve the situation, then you are asking too much.

Now, somehow, the Western media doesn't get video messages pleading for help. The media doesn't have stories about how women working in a salon used to feed the entire family, and now they stare at an uncertain future. These stories will put Western countries in a bad light, and pliable journalists can't be expected to show they have a backbone.

When media becomes a tool to influence public sentiment, real issues come to the limelight only when it serves their masters.

When Afghanistan is not a priority, real stories are not covered. Taliban women, at best, could expect only lip service to their cause.

First published: 27 July 2023, 9:54 IST
Manoj Kumar Rohilla @maanojrohilla

Manoj has worked for nearly all forms of media--print, tv, radio and digital. During the last 24 years, he has worked for DNA India, DD, Zee TV, Nepal 1, Sahara Samay, IBN 7, India News, News Express and Daily Bhaskar. He loves making documentaries. As Deputy Editor he manages and heads news operations of Catch News, and Catch Hindi.