Brave Afghan women protest against Taliban rule on Kabul streets – ‘We want rights!’

Afghanistan: Women protest against Taliban in Kabul

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Video footage has gone viral on Twitter showing four women on the streets of Kabul holding placards and demanding that their rights are not curtailed as the Taliban regains control of Afghanistan.

The clip was shared by journalist Masih Alinejad. The caption reads: “These brave women took to the streets in Kabul to protest against Taliban.

“They simplify asking for their rights, the right to work, the right for education and the right to political participation. The right to live in a safe society. I hope more women and men join them.”

Another video shared by Al Jazeera reporter Hameed Shah, shows the same group of women marching through the streets of Kabul, boldly holding up their placards and demanding that their rights are not compromised.

Mr Shah wrote alongside the clip: “The first women’s demonstration in Kabul after the entry of Taliban militants.

“We want our rights, here are women, we want social security, the right to education and the right to political participation.

“No force can ignore and stifle women. All our achievements over the years should not be compromised and our basic rights!”

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The Taliban resurgence has sparked particular concern for the future of women and girls in Afghanistan.

When the Taliban last ruled the country from 1996 to 2001, women and girls could not work or receive an education. They were also required to wear a burka covering their whole body and be accompanied by a male if they wanted to leave their homes.

Any woman that did not obey the Taliban’s rules would face public flogging or execution.

Now that the Taliban has regained power, spokesman for the group, Zabihullah Mujahid,  promised that women’s rights would be respected this time around, provided it is with the limits of Islamic law.

In a separate statement, Enamullah Samangani, a member of the Taliban’s cultural commission, urged women to join the Taliban government. 

He said: “The Islamic Emirate doesn’t want women to be victims. They should be in government structure according to Shariah law.

“The structure of government is not fully clear, but based on experience, there should be a fully Islamic leadership and all sides should join.”

Secretary General of the UN, António Guterres, said today: “I am deeply concerned by accounts of human rights violations against the women and girls of Afghanistan who fear a return to the darkest days.

“They are looking to the international community for support. We must not let them down.”

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