Women from Afghanistan enter 6th day of hunger strike in Germany

A group of women’s rights activists from Afghanistan entered the sixth day of their hunger strike in Germany on Wednesday in a bid to raise awareness of the global neglect of women in Afghanistan and gender apartheid by the Taliban.

Tamna Zaryab Paryani, an organizer of the hunger strike, said on Wednesday that she will continue the hunger strike even if it “costs me my life”. She said she would end the protest only once the United Nations and the German Parliament address their demands, which is to recognize “gender apartheid” in Afghanistan.

“I will not stop, I will not end my [hunger] strike until gender apartheid is recognized in Afghanistan, even if I die, I will not stop the strike,” she said.

Their hunger strike started six days ago, and according to the activists, it is supposed to continue until September 12. However, Paryani said that if their demands are not addressed, they will continue the hunger strike indefinitely.

Other women’s rights movements have meanwhile added their voice to the issue and have said they support a move for the world to acknowledge the situation in Afghanistan as gender apartheid.

“Tamna Zaryab Paryani has gone to a fight against ignorance with empty hands. We all must be Tamna Paryani to strengthen this petition,” said Maria Noori, a member of Women’s Union and Solidarity.

“We are all with Tamna Parayni. The Taliban should not be recognized, and the basic rights of Afghan women should be ensured,” said Shakira Aslami, another member of Women’s Union and Solidarity.

In the last two years, after the Taliban takeover, women and girls in Afghanistan have been subjected to increasing restrictions which has now led to them having no access to education, and limited access to work and freedom along with a host of other limitations. Despite worldwide condemnation of these actions against women, the Taliban has so far failed to ease any of its restrictions.