#Opinion

Afghan Women Protestors Keep Up Pressure On Taliban By Walking On Streets Of Kabul

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There is no denying that Afghan Women Protestors are at the forefront of a pushback against the Taliban regime.

As heart-wrenching stories of brutality and inhuman treatment towards women in Afghanistan keep showing up on our timelines, it is evident that Afghan women protestors are leading political protests in the country. Even if they feel they have been abandoned they are still not hopeless. Today, hundreds of women walked on the streets of Kabul raising slogans of “Azadi” or freedom.

A short clip of the protest has made it online. As per reports, the Taliban fighters shot their guns in the air to disperse the crowd. This is the latest in a string of protests led by women in the country. The protest took place outside the Pakistan embassy and the women shouted slogans and carried placards.

Earlier on Monday, women in Afghanistan also marched in protest in the northern city of Mazar-e Sharif.  The group had to disperse when the Taliban fighters threatened to turn violent. Similar protests have been reported in Herat and in Zaranj near Iran border as well. Thus, proving that their protests are not just about gender injustice, it is a protest against an oppressor and what they are facing is a violation of basic human rights.

Women’s freedom had been massively curtailed during the earlier Taliban regime between 1996 to 2001, though the Taliban spokesperson has assured that women will be treated with dignity and eventually called back to their jobs. Yesterday, the internet saw pictures of gender-segregated classes resuming at the colleges in the country.

However, what the country is now facing is not just gender injustice but a massive financial and humanitarian crisis. A large number of medical facilities are at risk of closure because foreign donors are barred from dealing with the Taliban government. Economic growth cannot happen without gender equality. Women’s political participation can be transformative, so can women’s collective movement around the nation rescue it from the hands of this autocratic regime? Only time will tell. Till then let’s keep the applause going.

The views expressed are the author’s own.