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Systematic sexual violence during the Warlord Era

The Afghan civil war between 1979 and 1989 pitted the Islamic rebels collectively known as the mujahidden, backed by the West, against the Soviet forces and their local allies. After the Soviet withdrawal, women were once against the casualties in the infighting among various mujahideen warlords.

A 1999 report from AI described the dire situation:

During the last two decades, but particularly between 1992 and 1995, armed guards have used these norms as weapons of war, engaging in rape and sexual assault against women as an ultimate means of dishonouring entire communities and reducing people's capacity to resist military advances.

The Civil War 1990-1996

By 1994 the rest of the country was carved up among the various factions, with many mujahidin commanders establishing themselves as virtual warlords. The city of Kabul was divided in to neighborhoods controlled by a different faction. Residence could not cross the street to their local market because the opposite side belonged to a different faction and thus you needed documents to cross the street. Women were reduced to slaves and sex toys of the warlords and renegade soldiers. Afghan girls were kidnapped and sold to Arabs and Pakistanis. The economy was shattered; the people were reduced to collect bones in order to trade them for food. Women were not safe in their own homes, thieves ran the streets, the Kabul museum was ransacked and sold to western archeologists and museums, the man with the gun ruled while unarmed civilians were their slaves. The situation around the southern city of Qandahar was particularly precarious: the city was divided among different forces, and civilians had little security from murder, rape, looting, or extortion. Humanitarian agencies frequently found their offices stripped of all equipment, their veh

According to Children devastated by war: Afghanistan's lost generations (a 1999 Amnesty International article on Afghanistan):

Girl children, and at times boys, have suffered rape and sexual assault. They have been abducted by local warring commanders, either for their own sexual purposes or to be sold into prostitution.

Rasil Basu wrote in the article The Rape of Afghanistan:

Rape by armed guards of the various warring factions was condoned by their leaders; it was viewed as a way of intimidating vanquished populations, and of rewarding soldiers. Fear of rape drove women to suicide, and fathers to kill their daughters to spare them the degradation. Scores of women were abducted and detained, sexually abused, and sold into prostitution. Most girls were victimized and tortured - because they belonged to different religious and ethnic groups. In addition to physical abuse, women were stripped of their fundamental rights of association, freedom of speech, of employment, and movement. The Supreme Court of the Islamic State in 1994, issued an Ordinance on Women's Veil which decreed that women should wear a veil to cover the whole body, forbidding them to leave their homes "not because they are women but for fear of sedition." This in a nutshell is the past record of the groups that form the Northern Alliance. Their warlords looked upon women as spoils of war - the very same warlords, who are now strutting around Kabul, with the support of the so-called civilized Western world under US leadership.

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The Hidden History of Women in Afghanistan