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Afghan women rally for rights under Taliban rule

A Taliban fighter walks past a beauty salon with defaced images of women in Shar-e-Naw, Kabul, August 18, 2021. (Wakil Kohsar/AFP)
A Taliban fighter walks past a beauty salon with defaced images of women in Shar-e-Naw, Kabul, August 18, 2021. (Wakil Kohsar/AFP)

Some three dozen Afghan women hold a demonstration in front of the governor’s office in western Herat province, urging the new government to uphold advances in women’s rights following the Taliban takeover.

Friba Kabrzani, an organizer of the rally, says that women should have political participation in the new government, including the Cabinet and Loya Jirga, or elders’ council.

Afghan women have made many sacrifices over the past 20 years to achieve what they have, she says, adding: “We want the world to hear us and we want our rights to be saved.”

Kabrzani says that some local families did not allow other women to join the march, although they wanted to, out of fear for their safety, after the ultraconservative Taliban religious militia took control of the country in mid-August.

Another participant, Maryam Ebram, says that although the Taliban were giving beautiful speeches on television, there have been abuses of power in the public space.

“We have witnessed them beating women again,” she says, adding that her group planned to continue to protest and demand their rights.

“We will not sit quiet as Taliban wants us to,” Ebram says.

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