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Afghan women demonstrated as best they could for their rights

Photo: Wakil Koshar Agence France-Presse Members of the Taliban security forces monitor a woman, in a burqa, as she walks through a market in late February in the Baharak district of Badakhshan province.

France Media Agency to Kabul

10:53 p.m.

  • Middle East

Small groups of Afghan women demonstrated discreetly on Friday for International Women's Day, as the Taliban authorities' repression against them prevented them from taking to the streets.

Since their return to power in August 2021, the Taliban have imposed their restrictive interpretation of Islamic law, increasing restrictive measures against women, a policy described as “gender apartheid” by the UN .

They excluded them from secondary schools and universities, making Afghanistan the only country in the world where education for girls after primary school is prohibited.

Women have also been largely banned from public administration, barred from entering parks, gardens, gyms and public baths, and required to cover themselves fully when leaving their homes. them.

“No value”

In several provinces, some women came together to demand that these restrictions be lifted, said the Purple Saturdays Movement, a women's rights group in Afghanistan.

In Takhar province (north-east), images published by feminist activists show seven women holding papers in front of their faces, with the inscription “Rights, Justice, Freedom”.< /p>

In Balkh (north), several women also held signs saying “Don’t give the Taliban a chance”, in front of a banner with the words “Save the women of Afghanistan”.

No public demonstrations had been reported as of mid-afternoon Friday.

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On Thursday, around twenty women participated in an event organized by the Association of the Blind of Afghanistan in Mazar-e-Sharif (north), where they read messages demanding respect for the right to education for women and girls.

“The doors of schools, universities and offices should be open to all women,” said one, who asked to remain anonymous for security reasons.

“It is very painful that a woman has no value today in our society. She cannot use any of her rights,” she added.

“Women represent half of humanity, as mothers, wives, sisters, daughters and teachers. The holy religion of Islam is not opposed to work and education for women,” added another.

Also Thursday, a group called the Independent Coalition of the Afghanistan Women's Protest Movement issued a statement demanding “immediate and serious action by the international community against the clear violation of human rights and obvious crimes that the Taliban are committing 'against women'.


The UN mission in Afghanistan (Manua) called on the Taliban government on Friday to lift restrictions on women, so as not to “push the country further into poverty and isolation” .

Afghan authorities have continued to reject international criticism on the subject.

Government spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said Friday that the Taliban respects women's rights within the framework of Islam, according to an interview published by Tolo News.

He recently described as “propaganda” a report by the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Afghanistan which emphasized restrictions imposed on women.

Afghan women have demonstrated sporadically against the rules imposed on them by the government, but often in small groups and in secret, for fear of reprisals after several activists were detained for months.

Street demonstrations were most often violently dispersed by security forces.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116