Afghan women protest all-male interim government

Afghan women protest all-male interim government, reporters ‘whipped’ by Taliban
2 min read
10 September, 2021
Protests have taken place against the Taliban's rule in Afghanistan, where women have expressed fears over their future and rights.
Small groups of women gathered in streets across Afghanistan [Getty]

Small groups of women have taken to the streets in various cities across Afghanistan to protest the Taliban’s interim government, which includes no women.

Women took to the Dashti E-Barchi neighbourhood of Kabul on Wednesday in a continuation of demonstrations in the city over women’s rights.

"We have gathered here to protest the recent announcement of the government where there are no women representation within this government," said an unnamed woman to CNN.

She went on to say that protesters were "hit with whips and they tell us to go to our homes and recognise and accept the Emirate. Why should we accept the Emirate while no inclusion or rights have been given to us?"

The Taliban had "proven that they cannot change," said another woman at the protest.

"We are asking the international community, especially those who during the last 20 years tried to provide women with their rights, where are those defenders of women rights today?"

Last week, over 100 women protested in Kabul and were stopped. At least 10 of them were beaten, Human Rights Watch reported, citing first-hand testimony from victims.

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One woman reported fainting after a Taliban soldier hit her with a metal object.

Taliban forces said they arrested four of their own men who had beaten the women.

International attention has once again focussed on the rights of women in Afghnaistan, which has come under Taliban rule since the group seized power following the withdrawal of US troops in August.

Despite assurances that women can continue their studies, the heavy segregation of students proposed by the new, all-male interim government has raised concerns among human rights organisations and global powers.

Journalists beaten

Two Afghan journalists were left with bruises after being beaten and detained for hours by Taliban enforcers for covering a protest in the Afghan capital.

The pair were picked up at a demonstration on Wednesday and taken to a police station in the capital, where they say they were punched and beaten with batons, electrical cables and whips after being accused of organising the protest.

"One of the Taliban put his foot on my head, crushed my face against the concrete. They kicked me in the head... I thought they were going to kill me," photographer Nematullah Naqdi told AFP.

Despite promises of a more inclusive regime, the Taliban have moved to snuff out opposition to their rule.

On Wednesday night the group declared demonstrations illegal unless permission had been granted by the justice ministry.