By Rukhshana Media
A group of women protestors in the Afghan capital, Kabul, warned the Taliban on Friday, saying if restrictions on women and girls do not ease, they will don male clothing and pose as men so they can work outside their homes.
Gathered in a house in Kabul, the women, dressed in men’s clothing, demanded that the Taliban allow women to participate in politics and social affairs.
“Afghanistan women are in a critical moment of their history. Their response or lack of response [to the Taliban] will determine their presence in the future of Afghanistan,” a protester reads in the video of the protest shared with Rukhshana Media.
Tamana Rezaee, one of the protestors, said they are gathered to support those women who lost all their male family members in the decades of war. “They are mostly single mothers or women who are living on their own, they should have the right to work outside their homes,” she said.
“We are against the forcibly implemented Hijab, Islamic law does not say anywhere that women must wear the burqa,” she added.
“The reason that we women are appearing in men’s clothing is to warn the Taliban that if their inhuman and misogynist laws are not removed, we will come out of our homes dressed as men, in order to work and earn our bread,” a statement issued by the protesters reads.
In videos shared with Rukhshana Media, the women are chanting slogans like “I am aware of my rights, and I hate the burqa,” and “Anti-women laws should be abolished.”
Aziza Shafiyi, another protestor, told Rukhshana Media that the Taliban are targeting individual and social freedoms by not respecting people’s privacy and rights.
Meanwhile, a group of women also protested in Kapisa province. The protesters in Kapisa too were demanding women’s rights to work and education.
When the Taliban took over Afghanistan in mid-August, they effectively banned millions of teenage girls and women from education and work. Soon after, women took to the streets to oppose Taliban policies. However, the Taliban responded with violence to repress protests, and even arrested and tortured the journalists who covered the protests.
Due to the Taliban’s violence and repression, now most of the women’s protests take place indoors.