Afghanistan: Women Vow To Wear Burqa If Taliban Let Their Children Attend School
Women’s rights protestors in Afghanistan have said they’re willing to accept wearing the burqa if it means their right to work and education can be maintained.
Around 50 women gathered in Herat – the country’s third-largest city – on Thursday, September 2 to protest feared new restrictions on women’s rights under the Taliban.
The group chanted ‘it is our right to have education, work and security,’ and ‘don’t be afraid, we are together,’ telling journalists they would be prepared to wear the conservative Muslim veil if it meant they could move about more freely.
‘We are here to ask for our rights,’ Fereshta Taheri, an Afghan artist, told AFP. ‘We are even ready to wear burqas if they tell us, but we want the women to go to school and work.’
Under previous Taliban rule, women were not allowed to hold jobs or attend school over the age of eight, with women who broke the organisation’s strict rules facing extreme punishments including beatings and stoning.
The new Taliban regime has not yet officially announced a policy on women’s education, however, according to the BBC shortly after taking power last month they asked all women to stay at home, claiming it was ‘for their own safety.’
However another protestor, Mariam Ebram said she was sceptical of claims that women would be more welcome in society, noting ‘we follow the news, and we don’t see any women in Taliban meetings and gatherings.’
‘Some women, like doctors and nurses who dared to go back to work, complain that the Taliban mock them,’ she said. ‘The Taliban don’t look at them, they don’t talk to them. They only show their angry faces to them.’
‘All we are asking for is rights,’ she told Al Jazeera, warning ‘a government without women will never last.’
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