The busy Kabul street looks almost as if nothing has changed. People rush by, as shopkeepers arrange their colorful merchandise, and police direct traffic.
There’s one big change, though: There are almost no women here. Since the Taliban took over the Afghan capital on Sunday, women have largely stayed indoors.
The Taliban has repeatedly said that women’s rights will be protected under their rule, but it is clear that many Afghan women are terrified by the prospect of life under the Taliban.
Far fewer women are venturing out into the streets now, compared to just a few days ago. Those who do brave the outside world tend to be dressed more conservatively than before, their faces often covered with niqabs, or veils.
Many of the educated, fearless women who spent the last decade building their careers are desperately looking for a way out, worried they may be targeted by the Taliban.
“I’m thinking about my future, my daughters, what will happened to them if they kill me – two daughters without a mother,” one woman told CNN.
The woman, who CNN is not naming for security reasons, has worked for a number of international NGOs. She said she has spent days desperately pleading with them for help, but none has responded.
“It is not easy … having more than 10 years experience of working with international [organizations] and not one of them helped me,” she said.