Women take to the streets of Kabul to protest against the Taliban

Video shows group chanting and waving signs

Celine Wadhera
Tuesday 17 August 2021 16:56 BST
Footage shows women protesting against Taliban in Kabul

Afghan women staged their first protest against the Taliban since the militant group seized Kabul on Sunday.

Four women in black abayas and black and green hijabs can be seen in a video of the protest, holding up signs, demanding that the Taliban give them proper rights.

In another clip more women are seen marching through the streets of Kabul, chanting and holding their paper signs above their heads.

An Al Jazeera correspondent tweeted the video, captioning it “Taliban: We want our rights, here are women, we want social security, the ban on work, 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!”

While armed men are seen near the women in one video, speaking and pointing at the women, they do not appear to interfere with the protest.

Earlier on Tuesday, Enamullah Samangani, a member of the Taliban’s cultural commission said on state television that women in Afghanistan had no reason to be afraid.

“The Islamic Emirate doesn’t want women to be victims,” he said.

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

Mr Samangani added that women “should be in the government structure according to Shariah law”.

If this policy proves to be true, it would mark a clear departure from the last time the Taliban were in power, and women were largely confined to their homes, prevented from working, attending school or even travelling without a male chaperone.

However, many remain concerned for the wellbeing of women and minorities under a Taliban-led Afghan government, including Malala Yousafzai.

Hours after the Taliban seized control of the country, the Nobel laureate asked for action from global agencies to protect civilians and refugees.

“We watch in complete shock as Taliban takes control of Afghanistan. I am deeply worried about women, minorities and human rights advocates,” she said.

Adding: “Global, regional and local powers must call for an immediate ceasefire, provide urgent humanitarian aid and protect refugees and civilians”.

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