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Under the darkness of Taliban control, a women’s book club is born

By M. Mursal Two months into Taliban rule in Afghanistan, Manizha Bahra, a sociologist in the western province of Herat, decided to form a book club with four of her friends. On October 7, the five friends gathered in a cultural centre and discussed their first book, a Persian translation of The Clown, a 1963 novel by the German writer Heinrich Böll.  “In the darkest moments and when there is no hope, we tried to follow a path that can never be closed and it is books,” said 26-year-old Bahra, who comes from...

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Analysis

Why the name, Rukhshana?

In Afghanistan, when we think of the word “stoning”, we remember the names of women who have lost their lives to this notorious practice. Women are always victims of stoning, while conservative Mullahs are often the ones prescribing it. It was October 2015 when a 30-second video that depicted the last moments of a young woman surfaced on Afghan social...

Whips and Silent Gazes

Note: Dari version of this article was published on 15 April 2021 By Fariba Hasani After four days of hesitation, I summoned my courage and watched the saddening scene of a woman being whipped, reportedly taken place in the Oba district of Herat province. The video has been circulated on social media for several days. In reaction, some men have...

Fear and concern; women’s achievements under threat

Note: Dari version of this article was published on 17 July 2021 By Elaha Mohammadi From the difficulties of getting a social presence to sexual harassment on the streets and workplaces, women in Afghanistan’s patriarchal society face many challenges. In this country, men often look down on women and treat them inhumanely. Throughout history women have been viewed as “body,...

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