More than 20 female activists protested in front of the Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs in Kabul on Sunday. It was closed by the Taliban and replaced with a department for the promotion of virtue and the prevention of vice. “The women’s ministry has to start working again,” said Bassera Tawana, one of the protesters. “Removing women means removing humanity,” she added.
Women who previously worked for the ministry told Reuters that in the weeks since the Taliban took Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital, they had been trying to get back to work. However, they were told to stay at home.
“The women’s ministry has to go back to work,” said Bassera Tawana, one of the protesters. “Removing women means removing humanity,” she added.
“You can’t suppress the voice of Afghan women”
The protest took place the day after some of the girls returned to primary school. Older teenagers still do not know if they will be able to resume their education in secondary school at all.
– You cannot stifle Afghan women’s voices by keeping girls at home, restraining them and not letting them go to school. Afghan women are different from 26 years ago, said Taranum Sayeedi, another demonstrator outside the former ministry building.
When the Taliban was in power from 1996 to 2001, girls were banned from going to school and women were banned from work and education. The then-functioning ministry of virtue promotion and vice prevention became known as the Taliban moral police, imposing an interpretation of sharia, which included a strict dress code, and public executions and flogging.
Main photo source: Reuters