Taliban Force Divorced Women Back to Abusive Ex-Husbands


The ruling Taliban authorities in Afghanistan force divorced women to return to their abusive ex-husbands. Previous divorces are considered invalid. Photo/REUTERS/Ali Khara/File Photo

KABUL – The Taliban, who rule Afghanistan, have forced divorced women to return to their abusive ex-husbands. The reason, the previous divorce was considered invalid.

Marwa was abused for years by her ex-husband who broke all of her teeth. She went into hiding with her eight children after a Taliban commander called off her divorce.

Marwa is one of a small number of women who, under the previous US-backed administration, were granted the right to divorce under Afghan law.

When Taliban forces resumed power in 2021, Marwa’s ex-husband claimed that he had been forced into a divorce and the Taliban commander ordered Marwa to return to his ex-husband’s clutches.

“My daughter and I cried a lot that day,” Marwa, 40, whose name has been changed for his own protection, told AFP.

“I said to myself, ‘Oh my God, the devil is back’.”

The Taliban government adheres to their own strict interpretation of Islam and has imposed extremely strict restrictions on women’s lives in what the UN calls “gender-based apartheid”.

Islam Permits Divorce

Lawyers told AFP that several women had reportedly been dragged back into abusive marriages after Taliban commanders called off their divorces.

For months Marwa was subjected to new rounds of beatings, locked up in the house, with broken hands and fractured fingers.

“There are days when I’m unconscious, and my daughter feeds me,” he said.

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