Women activists in Germany launch hunger strike to protest Taliban restrictions

A group of Afghan women activists in Germany have embarked on a hunger strike, marking its third day on Sunday, in a protest against restrictions imposed on women and girls by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The activists took to social media to share a video in which they decried what they referred to as “gender apartheid” in Afghanistan, calling for international recognition of the dire situation.

Tamanna Zaryab Paryani, a women’s rights advocate, stated, “This protest is a response to terrorism. We demand global recognition of the gender apartheid that persists in Afghanistan.”

Paryani affirmed their commitment to the hunger strike until September 12.

The women activists have articulated three key demands: the recognition of gender apartheid, cessation of all financial support and official visits to Taliban officials, and the immediate release of activists, journalists, and members of civil society who have been detained by the Taliban.

“We call upon all the people of Afghanistan to raise their voices against the injustices being perpetrated against women in Afghanistan, and we implore the international community to take decisive action in response,” voiced another activist participating in the hunger strike.

Meanwhile, Richard Bennett, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Afghanistan, expressed grave concern over the “appalling” restrictions that the Taliban has imposed on women and girls in the country.

During an interview with Amu TV, Bennett underscored that no country would recognize Afghanistan under Taliban rule if women continued to endure discrimination.

Bennett lamented the more than 60 decrees implemented by the de facto Taliban authorities, which severely curtail the rights of women and girls throughout Afghanistan. He argued that these restrictions not only have dire consequences for the future of Afghanistan but also inflict economic and psychological harm on half of the population.

Furthermore, Bennett condemned the Taliban’s limitations on education, employment, and women’s mobility as “unacceptable.” These restrictions, he emphasized, must be overturned to ensure a brighter future for Afghanistan and its women.