Afghan women rise up despite the gun barrel, whip, stick of the Taliban

Videos and photos sent to the radio CNN shows women chanting: “Long live Afghan women”. Some carried placards reading “No government can deny the presence of women” and “I will always sing about freedom”.

Others held up a picture of a pregnant policewoman murdered in Ghor province a few days ago. The Taliban insisted they had nothing to do with her death but later launched an investigation. According to witnesses, the movement’s gunmen also beat some reporters covering the protests.

This is just the latest instance of activists making a bold and public challenge to Taliban rule. Women wearing hijabs joined the protests in Kabul on September 9, the largest demonstration since the Taliban seized power in August.

A small group of women protesters also took to the streets of the Afghan capital over the weekend to demand equal rights, one of at least three small protests across the country last week.

Afghan women rise up despite the gun barrels, whips and sticks of the Taliban - Photo 1.

A woman protesting face to face with the barrel of a Taliban member’s gun. Photo: Reuters

Afghan women rose up despite the gun barrels, whips and sticks of the Taliban - Photo 2.

Afghan women protest against the all-male Taliban government. Photo: Reuters

“We gathered here to protest the government’s recent announcement that there are no women working in government,” said one woman at the protest on Saturday.

According to her, some protesters were beaten with whips. “They told us to go home, recognize and accept the Emirate. Why should we accept the Emirate when we are not included or empowered in it?” – she questioned.

She said several journalists covering the protest were arrested and called for their release. “All the men here to carry out their duties as journalists have been arrested. Why? How long must we put up with this?”

According to the announcement of the interim government on September 9, no women or members of religious minorities or members of Afghanistan’s ousted leadership have been selected for cabinet positions or have been elected to the government. advisory role.

Afghan women rise up despite the gun barrels, whips and sticks of the Taliban - Photo 3.

The move comes despite the Taliban’s promises of a more inclusive and moderate government than two decades ago. Fawzia Kofi, a former Afghan lawmaker, peace negotiator and women’s rights activist, accused the Taliban of breaking their promises.

The National Resistance Front in Afghanistan (NRF), an anti-Taliban group holding out in the Panjshir Valley, has called the Taliban’s cabinet “illegitimate” and a “threat to stability and security”. of Afghanistan, the region and the world”.

In addition to being barred from government, Afghan women, including the women’s national cricket team, will also be banned from playing the sport. In an interview with the radio SBS, deputy head of the Taliban’s cultural committee Ahmadullah Wasiq said it was inappropriate and unnecessary for women to play sports.

“I don’t think women are allowed to play cricket because women shouldn’t play cricket. In cricket, their face and body may not be covered in some situations. Islam does not allow women to appear like this,” Wasiq said.

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