Women, girls in Kandahar demand unconditional removal of Taliban restrictions

A class in Kandahar. Photo: Archive

Women and girls in Kandahar, who have been subjected to bans on working and attending school under the Taliban’s rule, voiced their opposition and demanded the unconditional removal of these restrictions.

In the province of Kandahar, students expressed their desire for the swift reopening of schools to avoid being bound by absolute illiteracy and secure their future.

“We want the Taliban to reopen schools for us as soon as possible. Our future should not be linked with absolute illiteracy,” asserted Shahnaz, a student in Kandahar.

“Education is compulsory for both men and women. The schools must be reopened,” said Gul Dasta, mother of a student in Kandahar.

Likewise, women working in Kandahar’s women’s market urged the Taliban to lift the restrictions on women’s work. The activities of beauty salons have been halted, and even a women’s sewing shop in Kandahar, where 18 women were employed, was forcibly closed by the Taliban last week.

A class in Kandahar. Photo: Archive

Shamsia, a tailor in Kandahar who worked in the shop, expressed the difficulties faced by women due to the work restrictions imposed by the Taliban. “When we have income, the problems will be solved, but it is difficult to advance life in the current situation,” she said.

Taliban’s restrictions on women, particularly in regards to work and education, have consistently sparked strong reactions both domestically and internationally. Despite widespread calls for change, the Taliban has not only maintained these restrictions but has seemingly increased their enforcement over time.

The plight of Kandahari women and girls highlights the pressing need for recognition of women’s rights and access to education and employment opportunities in Afghanistan. The situation in Kandahar is emblematic of the broader challenges facing women under Taliban rule, prompting renewed calls for an end to these restrictive policies.