September 06, 2021 – 20:26
Afghan women have once again taken to the streets to demand equal rights under Taliban rule. The protests took place in the northern city, Mazar-e Sharif.
According to photos shared on social media on September 6, a group of women gathered in downtown Mazar-e Sharif, holding banners reading slogans such as “Violation of women’s rights – violation of human rights” and “We want participation at all political levels,”
Protest organizer Shakourieh Rahimi told Radio Free Europe that Taliban militants detained journalists trying to cover the protest and beat some of them. Witnesses said the Taliban insulted and threatened the protesters. The militant group has not commented on the information.
Afghan women seeking equality, justice and democracy have staged protests in recent days in the capital, Kabul, and the western city of Herat.
On September 4, Taliban militants used tear gas and fired firearms into the air as dozens of women staged a protest in central Kabul demanding equal rights.
At least one woman was injured.
Samira Khairkhawa, who took part in the recent protests in Kabul, told Radio Free Europe that Afghan women are currently experiencing insecurity.
“Several weeks have passed since women did not know whether they would continue working or not. They do not know whether they will enjoy fundamental and civil rights,” she said.
The Taliban took control of most of Afghanistan three weeks ago and have yet to announce their new government.
The Taliban have said that women’s rights will be respected under Islamic law – Sharia – but have not elaborated on what this means in practice.
The Taliban education authority said in a document released on September 5 that they would only be allowed to attend university if classes were segregated by gender.
The Taliban ruled Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001. They did not allow women to work, girls were not allowed to attend school, and women had to cover their faces and be accompanied by a male relative if they wanted to leave their homes.
Those who broke the rules were sometimes sentenced to public beatings by the Taliban religious police.
After taking control of Afghanistan after 20 years of foreign military presence, the Taliban are now under the watchful eye of Western leaders if they have changed, including the way they treat girls and women.
Many countries and organizations have expressed doubts about the Taliban’s promises that this time they will rule differently.