As the Taliban continue to take over Afghanistan, there are more and more reports of the desperation of some of the Afghan people to get out of the country.
The videos of people clinging to planes as they try to depart the Kabul airport are hard to watch and the latest news of people throwing their babies over barbed wire fences to British soldiers on the other side are unimaginable.
In my head, I always think the safest place for my babies is in my arms.
It is beyond heartbreaking for me to even comprehend that throwing them to a complete stranger with the possibility of never seeing them again and not knowing where they will end up would be a safer option.
I feel useless and hopeless.
Currently, women and children are the most vulnerable under Taliban control.
Women in the country have fought hard for their rights and now they can lose everything.
When the Taliban had power in the late 1990s, they enforced their interpretation of Islamic Sharia law, which resulted in the brutal treatment of many Afghans.
Girls were not allowed to attend school, women had to be accompanied by a male relative and wear a burqa at all times in public and they banned females from working jobs outside of healthcare.
The repercussions for not following the rules were sometimes fatal.
When the United States and its allies drove the Taliban from power in 2001, women slowly got back some of their rights. Now that is all at risk again.
Human rights and girls’ education advocate Malala Yousafzai took to Twitter to say she is in complete shock as Taliban takes control of Afghanistan.
“I am deeply worried about women, minorities and human rights advocates. Global, regional and local powers must call for an immediate ceasefire, provide urgent humanitarian aid and protect refugees and civilians,” she tweeted.
One of the most important things we can do as Canadians is to learn more about the crisis and keep informed. It would be so easy to turn a blind eye.
We also have the freedom to call on our political leaders to support the people of Afghanistan.
We have an election coming up and I hope leaders will be talking about this crisis and ways we, as Canadians, can help.
The major parties have promised to resettle Afghans but we need to push them for timelines and numbers.
We also need to evacuate interpreters and civilians who worked alongside Canadian Armed Forces as soon as possible.
The other thing we can do to help is to donate to humanitarian aid agencies. The Red Cross and UNICEF are accepting donations.
I’ll also be hoping and praying for the Afghans while holding on to my babies a little tighter tonight.