Women’s rights group urges protests against Taliban’s invitation to Doha meeting

The Purple Saturdays Movement, a women’s rights advocacy group, has called on Afghan artists, cultural figures, and athletes to join protests against the Taliban’s invitation to the upcoming Doha meeting.

In a statement, the movement expressed disappointment that Afghan cultural figures and artists in exile are not participating in protests against the Taliban’s restrictive policies.

“With nearly three years of Taliban atrocities, countries that call themselves defenders of human rights are still appeasing the Taliban,” the statement read.

The group criticized the United Nations and the international community for downplaying the inclusion of women in the Doha meeting, noting that despite the Taliban showing no flexibility in their treatment of women, they have been accepted into negotiations without female representation.

The statement described the “silence and fear” of the people as the Taliban’s “greatest weapon” in violating human rights and freedoms in Afghanistan. The movement called on committed politicians and the international community to support democratic and decentralized governance in Afghanistan instead of the Taliban. The third Doha meeting is scheduled to take place within the next ten days.

Convened by the U.N., the meeting will include special representatives from countries around the world. Early reports indicated that, at the Taliban’s request, the United Nations has refrained from inviting representatives of women and civil society to this meeting.