Two years following the Biden administration’s withdrawal of U.S. forces, the Taliban have firmly established their rule over Afghanistan, facing minimal opposition that might threaten their control.
The regime’s leadership has remained united under their stern and ideologically driven leader, managing to bypass any potential internal fractures.
In an attempt to further cement their grip, the Taliban have reportedly ramped up security measures, tackling extremist groups including the Islamic State, according to The Associated Press.
They have also taken measures to combat corruption and curtail the production of opium within the country.
However, it is the group’s controversial stance on the rights of Afghan women that has caught the world’s attention in their second year at the helm.
Following their ban in the inaugural year that prohibited girls from receiving education past the sixth grade, the recent months have seen further prohibitions.
Women and girls have been restricted from public places like parks, gyms, and universities, as well as from employment opportunities with NGOs and the United Nations.
The Taliban justify these restrictions by citing alleged violations of hijab norms or breaches in gender segregation rules.
According to the Taliban, their prime objective remains the rigorous application of their version of Islamic law, known as Sharia, within Afghanistan’s borders.
This approach offers little room for secular or foreign ideologies, particularly those that advocate for women participating in work or education.
Reflecting on their governance approach, both now and during their initial reign in the late 1990s, it’s evident that these strict interpretations form their core beliefs.
The group’s paramount leader, Hibatullah Akhundzada, has expressed admiration for these new rules, stating that “life improved for Afghan women” after the exit of foreign military forces and the reinstatement of the compulsory hijab.