The Guardian reported that the “loss of freedom and hope, and an increase in forced and underage marriages and domestic abuse, has made women even more vulnerable over the last two years.”
Afghanistan’s history of conflict and poverty had fuelled a mental health crisis long before August 2021, the report said, adding that a survey published in the journal BMC Psychiatry two months before the Taliban takeover found nearly half the population suffered from psychological distress.
About 90% of mental health admissions at the provincial hospital in western Herat were women “breaking down under the weight of the new restrictions”, one medic there said, according to Guardian.
Efforts to tackle the issue under the last government, from legislation to shelters, were imperfect but offered women some hope, the report said, adding that those efforts have now been dismantled by the Taliban.“The mechanism to respond to domestic violence is totally eradicated; women have no choice but to bear the violence or kill themselves,” Shaharzad Akbar, a former chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, was quoted by Guardian. —Tolonews