Before the Taliban came to power, Afghan women lived a life in many ways similar to that of Western women (see pictures below):
Read more: http://illyria.proboards.com/thread/37077/afghanistan-syria-women-rights-propaganda#ixzz2bjToT3n6
Before the Taliban came Afghan women were restricted by what they could do/how they could dress under the Mujahedeen regime. Before that it was the communist occupiers and only the RICH and middle class women attended school and dressed as “Western” women do. Some women were even FORCED to dress more Western and were encouraged to forget their Afghan culture and traditions for the sake of “modernity”.
A woman’s right to education, to free speech and her right to contribute positively to the society and be an active part of the social sphere is a God-given right, not a Western-given right.
Flapping around a few photos of Afghan women in short skirts doesn’t mean a lot. Okay, so there was a minority group of women who dressed as they pleased (was it really their choice? or was it social pressure to be accepted as more modern?), even then a women wasn’t free from prejudices and she wasn’t free of abuse. And it’s utmost important to add that life during the era shown in the photos above doesn’t represent MAJORITY of Afghan women.
OP isn’t going to talk about how men during Amanullah Khan’s last years of rule were forced to wear “Western” attire in Kabul (Amanullah Khan ruled from 1919-1929, btw, since I don’t expect you to have any clue about Afghan history).
OP isn’t going to talk about how Taliban didn’t exactly invent the Burqa and how it traces its roots back to the Byzantine Empire (which predates Islam, btw) where elite women covered in that way.
OP isn’t going to talk about how the people pictured above were part of an elite, educated either abroad or at foreign schools in Afghanistan, with the monetary and social means to detach themselves from “traditional” clothing and as mentioned before, societal and perhaps even governmental pressure to do so.
OP isn’t going to talk about how the Taliban as well as the Mujahideen were backed by the US in moral, financial and military support so long as they fought the devil that was the Soviet Union and that a blind eye was turned to anything they did as long as their work was convenient to US interests in the region.
OP isn’t going to talk about how a war justified partially through discourse such as the above, to “liberate” Afghan women, has victimized primarily Afghan women and subjected them to more violence - structural, economic, sexual - than anything ever before.
OP isn’t going to talk about how many Afghan women, once “liberated”, still chose to cover in some way or another that still defied western standards of clothing.
OP isn’t going to talk about how during the time those pictures were taken, women were unable to vote because they lived under a monarchy, not a democracy, how their voices weren’t heard, how women’s rights groups like RAWA were silenced and forced into exile within 4 years of its founding, how Meena, the founder of RAWA, was assassinated by Khad.
None of that, ever. Just pictures for sensational value.