Hollie McKay, a freelance reporter and Fox News correspondent with extensive experience in Afghanistan, reports live from Kabul. McKay discusses the changes she’s witnessed in the month since the U.S. withdrew its forces and the Taliban took power. She cites a greater feeling of safety as one of the most obvious contrasts, due in part to the Taliban no longer playing its previous insurgent role.
McKay describes her investigative work, including her discussions with various Taliban leaders and heads of state throughout the country, as well as everyday conversations with ordinary citizens. She states that her status as a foreigner—particularly an Australian, as opposed to an American—makes it relatively safe for her, even though she is a woman, to conduct her work. “Things would be a lot more unsafe for me if I was here under my American passport,” she states. She acknowledges she is treated differently than Afghani women, although the majority of Taliban members she interviews rarely acknowledge her.
It’s still too early to tell where the country is headed, she states, which is causing many citizens to live in fear. From a women’s rights standpoint, McKay discusses the differences between women who live in cities versus in rural areas. Those in the latter tend not to see much change in their lives, no matter who might be in charge, due to the conservative nature of those communities. Women in Kabul, however, will see a dramatic shift now that the Taliban is once again in power.
“It all comes down to being able to give women a choice,” McKay says. “If we can improve the lives of women, we should improve the lives of women.”