By Rukhshana Media
On Thursday, women protested outside the United Nations office in the Afghan capital, Kabul, demanding international attention to the humanitarian and economic crises in Afghanistan.
A group of women protesters who marched toward the United Nations office in Kabul, chanted, “Food, Work and Freedom.”
“I am the head of a household, I should have the right to work,” Marjan Amiri, one of the protesters, told Rukhshana Media, adding how the Taliban’s restrictions on women’s work have prevented her from providing for her family. “The food price is rising and I can’t put food on the table. The world should see how a nation is dying of starvation,” she added.
Another group of women who were also protesting the humanitarian crisis in the country, chanted, “I sold my child for a piece of bread”, and “I sold my kidneys [to buy] medicine.” The protesters also asked for meaningful inclusion of women in the government.
“We marched toward the United Nations office [in Kabul] and chanted about poverty and starvation and against Pakistan, but unfortunately the Taliban suppressed our protest,” Reshmin, one of the protesters, told Rukhshana Media. “They hit a protester on her hand and her phone fell. When she tried to pick it up, a Taliban gunman stepped on her hand,” she said, adding that protesters were dispersed after the Taliban gunmen threatened to shoot them.
A third group of women who gathered in an indoor place, also protested the harsh economic conditions, and demanded that women should be allowed to return to work and their salaries should be paid.
The protests come as the country’s population is gripped by starvation. In October the UN World Food Program (WFP) warned that half of Afghanistan’s population is facing starvation if no immediate action was taken. “Ninety-five percent of the people don’t have enough food, and now we’re looking at 23 million people marching towards starvation,” said David Beasley, director of the UN World Food Program in an interview with the BBC on early November, describing the situation in Afghanistan as “the worst humanitarian crisis on Earth.”