In Afghanistan, the status of women has been something debated since it was established as a nation. The main religion of Afghanistan is Islam. Islam states in some of its earliest works, nearly fifteen hundread years ago that women are to be equal to men. Islam gives women rights, including rights to work, the ability to choose the man she will marry, among others. However, in Afghanistan, many times women have not been given these specific rights. Before Afghanistan was a fully independent nation, it was under the control of Abdur Rahman Khan. During his rule, Rahmnkhan decided to implement many changes for women and how they were percieved. He instituted many reforms that included required marriage registration, women not having to marry her husbands next closest male relative if her husband passed away, and also a woman's ability to choose if she wanted to stay with her husband if she was married before she went through puberty. After Afghanistan became independent in 1919, it was under the rule of King Amanullah, who established a monarchy. The king was against the idea of secluding women and also wanted to give them more freedom. He mandated that if women wanted to go to the park, they would not have to have their faces covered. He also established girls schools, the first ever in the nation. In 1920, he ended slavery, which freed many women from concubinage. The regime of King Amanullah fell and in 1931 a Constituion was written. Article 9 of the Constitution states that all citizens of Afghanistan were supposed to be treated equally. However, this did not specify to include women, as stated by Louis Dupree, an expert on Afghanistan: "All persons were not given equal treatment before the law, and women held a decidedly inferior position in Afghan society." This was unfortunately the case, and as different regimes rose and fell in Afghanistan, women's rights sometimes seemed to take a back seat. After the rule of King Amanullah, Afghanistan was ruled Habidullah. During his short reign of only nine months, women's rights took a sharp decline. Schools for girls closed, and institutions, such as polygamy, began once again. Habidullah's reign ended, and in 1934, Mohammed Zahir Shah took power. During this time, women were treated more fairly and equally. He was able to help women take a more prominent role in society by allowing them to be hired for more important jobs, such as jobs in hospitals or allowing them to become teachers. At this time, women were also able to drive and travel, among other things. During the 1960s and 1970s, several women were able to work in the government. Mohammed Daoud overthrew Zahir's government in 1973, and under his reign, conditions for women improved more so. Daoud decided that, since there was no justification for the veil or the ultimate seclusion of women, women married to high ranking officials could appear at certain events unveiled. This time period saw much progress for women. Women began to protest what they felt was unjust in their government. Daoud was overthrown in 1979 due to the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union. The Soviets enforced a minimum marriage age. In 1984, equal job opportunities to that of men were offered to women. Women were then able to work in a variety of different jobs and made up half of the labor force. Soviet possession of Afghanistan ended in 1992, and the country was plunged into a state of violent power struggle. Many different groups were fighting for power. The constitution was abolished soon after and became the Islamic State of Afghanistan. In 1993, it was ruled that women must wear a veil at all times while out in public. Women's education also disappeared and it was left up to the men of the house to educated their women. During this time was the beginning of Taliban control and with it came a new status for women.
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