Kabul [Afghanistan]: Young Afghani women protested against the Taliban demanding women’s access to education and work on the occasion of International Women’s Day, reported Tolo News.
The protest took place on Wednesday and they called for the removal of restrictions imposed women in Afghanistan. “It is March 8 but women in Afghanistan have no rights to celebrate this day. We are the women who are imprisoned in the country. The restrictions are worsened day-by-day,” said Jolia Parsa, a member of Junbish Itlaf Khodjosh Zanan.
Taliban banned women from attending university last December, nine months after the Islamist group barred girls from returning to secondary schools amid a brutal crackdown on women’s rights since it seized power in 2021.
Taliban also announced a ban on female NGO workers – prompting multiple major foreign aid groups to suspend their operations in the country.
“We want to be provided with our rights to work as in many other countries around the world. We should be able to work in the government and non-government organizations,” said Sufia Arifi, a member of Junbish Itlaf Khodjosh Zanan, reported Tolo News.
The female protestors issued a statement saying the current challenges against women should not be forgotten.
“Our specific request of the international community is to pay necessary attention to the situation of women in Afghanistan,” said Laila Bassim, a protestor, reported Tolo News.
“Today, the gates of gyms, schools, universities and parks have been closed for women,” said Marghlari Faqirzai, a member of Junbish Itlaf Khodjosh Zanan.
Taliban has repeatedly said that they are committed to the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan and that their rights are preserved within Islamic laws.
On Monday, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, Richard Bennett, presented a report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva that said the Taliban’s ban on female education “may amount to gender persecution, a crime against humanity.”
The report listed various other compounding crises, such as the rise in forced and child marriages, sexual abuse and assault, the ban on women from other public spaces like parks and gyms, and other restrictions limiting women’s ability to work and travel independently.
These bans “deepen existing flagrant violations of women’s human rights, already among the most draconian in the world,” the report said.
The Taliban’s return to power preceded a deepening humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, worsening issues that had long plagued the country.
After the takeover, the US and its allies froze about USD 7 billion of the country’s foreign reserves and cut off international funding – crippling an economy heavily dependent on overseas aid.