Undeterred by violence, Afghan women continue to challenge Taliban

As the Taliban continue to tighten their grip on Afghanistan, reports of harassment and brutalities against women have started emerging from the country.

Tel Aviv [Israel], September 13 : Despite the grave threat from the outfit, scores of women are holding demonstrations in cities across the country, demanding rights being denied to them. Writing for The Times of Israel, geopolitics expert Fabien Baussart said that the current state of affairs in the country is contrary to promises made by the group.
“All this go against the earlier promises made by the Taliban before capturing Kabul that it would respect women’s rights and allow them to access education and work. This has made women furious, leading them to start a fight with the Taliban to protect their rights,” said Baussart, President of Center of Political and Foreign Affairs.
Last week, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) had asked the Taliban to cease detaining journalists in Afghanistan and allow the media to operate freely and without fear of reprisal.
Over the past few days, the Taliban detained several journalists covering protests in Kabul. “The Taliban is quickly proving that earlier promises to allow Afghanistan’s independent media to continue operating freely and safely are worthless,” said Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator.
Afghan women, who were protesting against the all-male Afghanistan’s new interim government last week in Kabul, were driven away by the Taliban. They used whips and sticks against the women protesters in the latest crackdown on dissent in Afghanistan.
Although the Taliban officially allowed peaceful protests, its members on the ground, however, have resorted to violence to curb demonstrations. “They (the Taliban) hit with whips and they tell us to go to our homes and recognise and accept the Emirate,” said one of the woman protestors, as quoted by The Times of Israel.
Baussart believes that defying the orders and challenging the ultra-radical and brutal Taliban is a bold step by the Afghan women. “They have the reforms and rebuilding of 20 years, which helped them grow and enjoy the basic rights, at the risk.”
Alison Davidian, deputy head of UN Women in Afghanistan, said there has been “incredible fear” among Afghan women due to obscure positions taken by the Taliban.
“And this fear is palpable across the country. Memories are vivid of the Taliban’s rule in the 1990s, when there were severe restrictions on women’s rights, and women and girls are understandably afraid,” she added.

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