🌏 The Reality In Afghanistan One Year After The Taliban Takeover, Scotland Makes Period Products Free For Everyone And More

All the world news you need to know this week.

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August 15 marked one year since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan. We take a look at what has changed in 365 days.

The Taliban seized control of Afghanistan on Aug. 15, 2021 after a lightning offensive.

In just a year, two decades of progress have been reversed.

  • Women have been stripped of many of their rights and can’t participate equally in public life. Women have been ordered to cover themselves from head-to-toe in public, prevented from traveling more than 72 kilometers without a male chaperone and banned from holding governmental office.
  • Girls have been banned from going to middle and high school, despite the Taliban re-opening schools for boys. More than 45% of girls can’t attend school and 26% of girls are showing signs of depression, according to Save the Children.
  • Economic sanctions, loss of income, drought and conflict have left 20 million people facing severe food insecurity as they are unable to cope with inflation.
  • At least 55% of the population is in need of humanitarian assistance.
  • Taliban security forces have cracked down on and beaten peaceful protesters, and at least 80 journalists have been arrested and tortured for reporting on peaceful protests.
  • Taliban soldiers have unlawfully detained and tortured people and performed extrajudicial killings.
  • 700 civilians still died despite a significant reduction in armed violence as other Islamic State groups, such as the Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K), are still threatening Afghan lives.

Also Happening Around The World

🌏 Sea level rise is becoming an irreversible consequence of climate change and one that will affect thousands, if not millions of people. When the sea rises, low lying islands and coastal communities are in the most danger, with entire countries becoming submerged. Read more on why rising sea levels are a very real threat and why we need to act now.

Afghan women protesters gathered for a rare demonstration for their rights just days before the one year anniversary of the Taliban’s takeover of the country.

About 40 women marched in front of the education ministry building in the capital Kabul on Saturday Aug. 13 for the right to education, work and political participation, but were beaten by Taliban fighters.

The women chanted “bread, work and freedom” and “Justice! Justice! We’re fed up with ignorance,” while other protesters carried a banner reading “15 August is a black day”.

They were dispersed by Taliban fighters who fired their guns into the air, chased and beat the women with their rifle butts, according to AFP.

“If the Taliban want to silence this voice, it’s not possible. We will protest from our homes,” Munisa Mubariz, a protester, said, according to the Guardian.

More Women You Should Know About

🇸🇦 A 34-year-old Saudi woman studying in the UK has been sentenced to 34 years in a Saudi prison for using Twitter and following and retweeting activists.

Scotland has officially become the first country in the world to make period products free and available for anyone who needs them.

Under the landmark legislation, which lawmakers passed unanimously in November 2020, the Scottish government will collaborate with local authorities to help anyone who needs period products get them free of charge.

This means that people will have the legal right of free access to tampons and sanitary pads in schools, colleges, universities and public buildings, as well as a “reasonable choice of different period products” and the option to have products delivered to them.

The measures are aimed at ending period poverty – when people cannot access basic sanitary products when they need them.

This may be due to a variety of factors, from poverty, homelessness, abusive relationships, some health conditions and being transgender.

Women are estimated to spend around £13 ($17) a month on period products and thousands of pounds over a lifetime, the Guardian reported.

In 2018, Scotland became the first country in the world to provide free sanitary products to students at schools, colleges and universities.

“Proud of what we have achieved in Scotland,” Monica Lennon, the lawmaker who submitted the draft proposal tweeted on Monday. “We are the first but won’t be the last.”

According to charities, period poverty increased in the pandemic, with almost a third of people age 14 to 21 having problems affording or gaining access to sanitary products during the UK’s first national lockdown.

More Good News For Your Week

🇹🇼 A new performing arts center that opened in Taipei, Taiwan, has become a meme after people noticed its uncanny resemblance to an assortment of hot pot ingredient including a meatball on toothpicks and a block of tofu.

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