Following protests in major cities in Afghanistan, women have taken to social media to demonstrate against the extreme measures of the Taliban towards women.
The Taliban will not allow Afghan women to play sports
As part of a campaign on-line, Afghan women from around the world share photos of themselves wearing colorful traditional costumes with the hashtag #DoNotTouchMyClothes (#NoToquesMiRopa).
The campaign is a response to the action orchestrated by the Taliban at the University of Kabul, where around 300 women appeared in completely black clothes covering their faces, hands and feet, a type of clothing never seen in the country.
Waving Taliban flags, they said they support the militants who have announced that women will not be allowed access to high-level government positions and that schools and universities must be separated by sex.
The new regime
Since the Taliban took over the capital city of Kabul, they have announced an all-male interim government, with just a handful of Tajik and Uzbek representatives and no members of the Hazara ethnic minority.
The Ministry of Women’s Affairs is not part of the new regime, which has re-established the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice to force Sharia law to be applied throughout the country.
Many Afghans, especially those in urban centers, fear that their hard-won freedoms will be curtailed and recall with concern the Taliban regime from 1996 to 2001, in which women were largely confined to their homes.
Afghan historian and gender studies expert Dr. Bahar Jalali posted the first photo using the #DoNotTouchMyClothes social media hashtag, which has since inspired Afghan women around the world.
Peymana Assad, the first person of Afghan origin to be elected to public office in the UK, has posted a photo of her wearing a colorful dress. “This is Afghan culture. My traditional dress, “he tweeted,” our cultural garb is not the crazy garb that the Taliban make women wear. ”
The BBC’s Sana Safi posted a similar photo and wrote: “So how do Afghan women dress? This is how they dress. If I was in Afghanistan, I would have the kerchief on my head. This is as ‘conservative’ and ‘traditional’ as I can be ”.
Musician Ariana Delawari has shared a photo of her mother – “with me in the belly,” she has written – and other women wearing traditional dresses without headscarves, decades ago in Afghanistan.
Despite the Taliban announcing that the Protests in the future would only be allowed if they had the approval of the Ministry of Justice, the women in Kabul have pledged to continue with the demonstrations.
Samira, a student at Kabul University, says this was the only way forward. “The Taliban are already beginning to limit women’s freedoms,” she says. “I have nothing to lose. Either I stay locked in my home, unable to continue my education, or I can fight. Even if I risk my life, even if they kill me, it’s better than being silenced. ”
Translation by Julián Cnochaert.