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“It Is Our Right”—Women In Afghanistan Protest For Education, Work And Security

It comes after the Taliban seized power in August.

In Afghanistan, women call out: “It is our right to have education, work and security.” 

The request is so simple in nature, yet devastatingly, this is not a guarantee as the country responds to the Taliban takeover of the country.

This week, the final plane evacuating US troops took flight, ending its two-decade presence in the country. At the same time, the Taliban continued to cement its seizure of Afghanistan.

But even if hope is dwindling, women keep fighting for their basic rights—and a group of around 50 women staged a protest this week with an empowering message: “We are not afraid, we are united.”

(Credit: Getty)

The protest, which took place in Herat, a city in west Afghanistan saw the women take to the streets with placards and chant for education, work and basic security. 

They ask for this because before the 20-year US and NATO presence in the country, women and girls were largely denied rights to receive education.

They were mostly unable to work.

Burquas were mandatory in public.

They were unable to leave their homes without a Mahram (male guardian). 

During the Taliban’s previous stint in power, even the idea of protesting was virtually unthinkable. 

That’s why this week’s protest is not only incredibly empowering, but also a reflection of the desparate situation the women and children of the country are in. 

Per AFP, women are willing to sacrifice some freedoms in order for their daughters to receive education. 

“We are even ready to wear burqas if they tell us, but we want the women to go to school and work,” one woman told the network. 

(Credit: Getty)

This time around, the Taliban have said their leadership will be “inclusive”, and they’ve also asserted that women will be able to work, though with the stipulation that it’s within the limits of Sharia law.

That said, widespread doubt about the validity of these pledges is rife.

“We don’t see any women in Taliban meetings and gatherings,” one protestor pointed out. 

Another sign simply read: “No government is stable without the support of women.”

Throughout the protest, watched by Taliban fighters, women continued: “Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid. We are together.”

If you want to help the women (and civilians) in Afghanistan as they face the ongoing humanitarian crisis, visit our explainer here. Below, where you can donate. 

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