A group of women held a small but important gathering in downtown Kabul on Monday to protest against the alarming absence of employment opportunities for women across the country under Taliban rule.
Since the Taliban took control of the country 14 months ago, thousands of women have lost their jobs, both in government and at private institutions, especially media organizations, the women’s affairs ministry, and NGOs among others.
The women on Monday held up their education documents in a show of protest that they have graduated from university but have been deprived of the opportunity to work.
The women said in a video on social media that their protest was stopped by the Taliban and journalists were not allowed to film the event.
Hoda Khamosh, a women’s rights activist based in Europe, said in a tweet that banners carried by the women “were torn up” by the Taliban who also dispersed the group of protesting women.
One protester said they were not allowed by the Taliban to continue their program that was “peaceful.”
“We wanted to hold our program in Park-e-Shahre Naw area but we were not allowed by the Taliban and we were told that we don’t have the right to hold a program while we had a peaceful event and did not want to insult anyone,” one participant said.
She said that the Taliban took journalists with them and took away their education documents.
“The head of the police command for the area came and wanted to open fire on us,” said the participant in a video widely shared on social media and a copy of which was sent to Amu following the event.
This is the third consecutive day women have held demonstrations in different parts of the country to advocate for their rights.
On Saturday, Oct. 29, a group of women and girls held a protest outside a few schools in Kabul to demand the reopening of secondary schools for girls.
On Sunday, Oct. 30, a group of female students held a rally outside Badakhshan University in the city of Faizabad in north-eastern Afghanistan to protest the Taliban’s dress code. The students were prevented by the Taliban from entering the university for not wearing a proper hijab, or burqa.