In August, 2021 the US and allied forces, including Australia left Afghanistan after a 20 year post-war occupation.
With little preparation from the Australian Government and amid fierce public resistance to the betrayal of Afghan interpreters and others who had supported Australian Defence Forces during that period, the evacuation was chaotic and fraught with danger.
As the Taliban flooded into Kabul and Afghan forces surrendered, something the people of Afghanistan never anticipated, many were placed at immediate and extreme risk.
Particularly girls and women who the Taliban fighters considered their own prizes for their loyalty and each fighter under Taliban law was able to take seven wives. Countless girls as young as 14 were taken as payment, even offered and sold by stricken families as starvation and poverty became the new war frontier for the Afghan people.
Other girls were at threat of sexual slavery.
This is the story of fifteen girls, University students who were being chased by the Taliban and who hid in a house, terrified for their lives.
The girls decided that if they were captured, they would rather take their own lives than become sexual slaves or wives of Taliban fighters.
The girls came to the attention of a small group of human rights and social justice advocates from the Addison Road Community Organisation in Marrickville, Sydney, Australia who set out to save the girls and get them to safety in Australia.
It is a film that depicts the terrors of fleeing persecution, of the trampling of women’s and girl’s rights in many parts of the world and the extreme risk that so many girls are placed under.
It is also about solidarity between people of conscience everywhere and about the impact on young girls’ lives that a small community can have, if they try.
Craig is an Ambassador of Addi Road, an organisation well known for its social justice and anti-racism work, and played a role in the evacuation of the 15 girls to safety working with Australia’s Immigration and Foreign Ministers along with trusted Members of the Australian Parliament.