Several women took to the streets of Kabul last Tuesday to protest the closure of girls’ schools. Through the protest, they criticized the current Taliban regime in Afghanistan, as well as the international community for its inaction.
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Women Protestors Criticize Taliban, International Community
According to media reports on Tuesday, the Taliban used force to disperse female activists protesting in Kabul in support of women’s rights. These women were protesting the closure of girls’ schools under the Taliban regime. They gathered before the UNAMA’s gates, criticizing the international community for its silence on the Taliban’s persecution of Afghan women.
Millions of adolescent girls across Afghanistan are anxiously waiting for their classes to resume, while high schools remain closed. This has raised concerns about the future of female education in the country.
Widespread Protests against Taliban actions
Activists around Afghanistan have staged a number of protests, urging the Taliban to respect basic human rights, establish a representative government, and establish city authority. Deborah Lyons, the UN Secretary-Special General’s Representative for Afghanistan, had met with women from around Afghanistan earlier on Tuesday. Her meeting was intended to account for women’s perspectives on the country’s significant issues.
Lyons met with Taliban commanders last week to discuss humanitarian help, human rights, and a more inclusive Afghan government.
Earlier this month, a group of six women gathered outside a high school in eastern Kabul demanding the right for girls to return to secondary school. This took place after the hardline Islamist group did not allow them to attend classes in early October.
Taliban use Force to Disperse Protestors
The women unfurled a banner that read “Don’t break our pens, don’t burn our books, don’t close our schools”, before Taliban guards snatched it from them. They pushed back the women protesters as they tried to continue with the demonstration. Furthermore, the guards blocked a foreign journalist from filming, who was also hit with a rifle.
Following the Taliban’s takeover of power, the population had organized isolated gatherings led by women in towns across the country, including in Herat. In September, Taliban forces reportedly killed two people in the western city during protests. The government later issued an order prohibiting unlicensed demonstrations and threatening “serious legal action” against violators. Following this, protests have dwindled. The Taliban adhere to a rigid interpretation of sharia law that separates men and women and restricts women’s employment opportunities.