As world marks day of non-violence, women in Afghanistan bemoan their plight

File-Photo, Afghan Women Protests Taliban’s Restrictions

On the International Day of Non-Violence, women and girls in Afghanistan said they are paying a heavy price for the Taliban’s oppressive policies, which often include instances of violence.

The Taliban has suppressed and detained numerous women for protesting against their misogynistic policies including a ban on education for girls above grade 6, the prohibition of women working for NGOs and the United Nations and a slew of other edicts curtailing their freedom and rights.

Over the past two weeks, two female protestors; Zholia Parsi and Neda Parwani, along with their family members have been detained by the Taliban.

The arrest of the two women’s rights defenders sparked an outcry both at home and abroad. The Taliban meanwhile have still not commented on the arrests.

The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, said that the International Day of Non-Violence is an occasion to spread the message of non-violence through various education and public awareness campaigns. 

But the women and girls of Afghanistan said that they are distressed by the Taliban’s level of violence meted out to the public. They say their protests are always peaceful, but it’s the de facto authorities that hit back with violence during their demonstrations.

The International Day of Non-Violence is celebrated every year across the world on October 2, which was the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of the Indian freedom movement and pioneer of the philosophy of non-violence. “On this International Day, we commemorate not only the birth of Mahatma Gandhi,” Guterres said, “but also the timeless values he championed: mutual respect and understanding, justice, and the power of peaceful action.”