Taliban takeover of Afghanistan leaves female judges jobless and in fear
After the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, more than 200 female judges remain under threat and in hiding, as per the International Association of Women Judges. Many former judges say their personal information has been retrieved from the court records by the Taliban officials. Not just that, some of their bank accounts have also been frozen.
However, some female judges and lawyers have managed to escape Afghanistan. Once a judge in Afghanistan's Supreme Court, a woman said that during her tenure she would grant divorce to women assaulted or kidnapped by their husbands. Such men were also given jail terms. These men threatened to kill her after they had served their time, the judge claimed.
After the Taliban came to power they freed hundreds of prisoners from jails, some of who were behind bars for torturing their wives. The judge claims that she then began receiving death threat calls from former prisoners. Looking at the gravity of the situation she had to move out of her Kabul home to a hideout with her husband and three young daughters.
"I lost my job and now I can't even go outside or do anything freely because I fear these freed prisoners," she said to a media house. "A dark future is awaiting everyone in Afghanistan, especially female judges," she added.
Female judges and lawyers have left the courts under Taliban pressure, abruptly erasing one of the signal achievements of the United States and allied nations since 2001. The women have not only lost their jobs but are forced to live in a state of perpetual fear that they or their families could be tracked down and killed.
In Afghanistan, several judges and lawyers have been fired because it became increasingly risky for them to pass judgment as the Taliban disapproves of women who sit in judgment of men. Bilal Karimi, a Taliban spokesman said no decision had been made about a future role for female judges and lawyers.
Before the Taliban takeover, more than 270 female judges served in the judiciary. Special courts with female judges, along with special police units and prosecution offices, were set up in many places to handle cases of violence against women.