Afghan females protest for rights in Kabul

Afghan females protest for rights in Kabul

Kanako Mita and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Late last year, a small group of women protested for rights in Kabul, Afghanistan. Afghan ladies then – and more recently – protested against the Taliban’s restrictive measures imposed on women and wider society. Therefore, the recent protest against the Taliban’s restrictive measures took enormous courage. 

The new Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan enforces conservative concepts of Islamic Sharia law. This especially infringes on girls and women concerning education, work, freedom of dress, and other areas related to human rights. 

Ironically, international economic assistance supporting Afghanistan comes equally from the taxes of men and women. Likewise, females assist in all operations concerning humanitarian assistance. However, internally, the Taliban seeks to reduce women to mere shadows.

The Guardian reports, “Taliban fighters beat female protesters and fired into the air on Saturday as they violently dispersed a rare rally in the Afghan capital, days before the first anniversary of the hardline Islamists’ return to power.”

Despite the protest being small, the chants of “Justice! Justice! We’re fed up with ignorance” resonates with many in Afghanistan – male and female alike. 

According to the AFP news agency, females were attacked by the Taliban for protesting. This includes being hit by rifle butts and other draconian measures. 

Several decades ago, the nations of America, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, and others supported Sunni Islamist forces. This was during the Cold War period. Therefore, the power vacuum awakened by the demise of Najibullah (the former communist leader) was one of religious intolerance and growing internal militancy.

America – and its allies – were unable to contain Islamism, sectarian attacks by Sunni Islamists against the Shia, the scourge of narcotics, child marriage, and other grim realities. Also, the Afghan political elites were often corrupt.

Hence, even before the Taliban took power (once more), society was already blighted by tyranny. For example, during the American-led occupation of Afghanistan, women were sometimes killed if their actions were deemed unIslamic. Apostates to Christianity also faced enormous persecution within wider society and from government forces supported by America. 

In one notorious case (long before the Taliban retook power), a woman with mental health problems was lynched in Afghanistan for allegedly burning the Koran in 2015. This brutality – along with killing apostates: also happens in other nations. Therefore, similar cases have happened in recent times – in Pakistan, Nigeria, and Somalia. 

One eyewitness said, “They beat her to death and then threw her on the riverside and burned her. Firefighters later came and put out the fire and took the body.”

Overall, the protest in Kabul by a relatively small number of women won’t shake the Taliban. However, they are keeping the “small flame of hope alive.” 

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