The Taliban Has Banned Use Of Contraception For Women

In an effort to further restrict women’s rights, the Taliban has banned the use of contraception in two cities.

When the Taliban seized control of Kabul in August of 2021, the world united in collective grief. Images began flooding the social media feeds and news reports, showing the desperate attempts of thousands to flee the country. For women and girls in particular, these efforts came from an understanding that to stay behind was to live with an uncertain future, one in which their rights would be largely denied. Immediately after taking control of the country, the Taliban ensured that buildings with adverts depicting the faces of women were painted over. Instantly, they wiped women from view. 

In the time that has elapsed, the Taliban have continued to greatly restrict women’s rights and freedoms in the country. After denying women participation in sport, they later announced that women and girls would no longer be permitted to attend university after issuing an order that saw them banned from attending all government and private universities. 

Now, it’s been revealed that the Taliban has moved to yet further restrict women’s rights, banning the use of contraception in two cities. For women based in Kabul and Mazari-i, contraception will no longer be permitted as the Taliban claims it is used by women as part of a Western agenda to control the Muslim population. 

As a result, pharmacies in these cities have been ordered to dispose of all contraception, including birth control medicines and devices, and to stop selling them, according to reports from The Guardian. Already, store owners and midwives have come under fire from members of the Taliban as they report being threatened. 

“They came to my store twice with guns and threatened me not to keep contraceptive pills for sale. They are regularly checking every pharmacy in Kabul and we have stopped selling the products,” said one store owner in an interview with The Guardian. ‘

According to the United Nations Population Fund 2022 report, Afghanistan remains one of the most dangerous countries in the world to give birth to, and also has the highest maternal mortality rate in Asia. The report details that 638 out of every 100,000 mothers die during childbirth in Afghanistan, a number that has increased since the Taliban takeover. 

With this latest crackdown on contraception, the Taliban have removed yet another right for women across the country, adding to an exhaustive list that already includes universities for women being closed, girls restricted from accessing education, inhibiting their ability to leave their homes, and the right to participate in paid employment. 

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