Women in Kabul Defy the Taliban to Return to Work

BP World Bureau | Oct 05 2021
Image credits: Twitter

More women are returning to Kabul's public spaces after staying inside during the first initial uncertain weeks of the Taliban rule. Some have chosen to return to work despite the fear of militants.

An Afghan mother of five told CNN that she has no choice but to work because she is a single mother. Arzo Khaliqyar is a taxi driver and driving has become increasingly difficult for her after the Afghan government fell. She sees the risks but accepted them for the sake of her children. "I will change my route when I see Taliban checkpoints."

The Taliban has banned female students of grades through six to twelve from schools saying the new government is setting up a "secure transportation system" for them. Activists point out that a similar excuse was given back in 1996 too. Female students never received any education during the Taliban's five-year rule.

Women in Kabul have been consistently taking to the streets to protest. In the Khair Khana neighbourhood in northwest Kabul, Taliban members beat protesters with whips and sticks. 

The Taliban's head of intelligence services in Kabul, Mawlavi Nasratullah had said that the protests are being dismissed because "women did not have permission to protest." 

When asked why a small group of women asking for their rights to be educated threatens the Taliban, he told CNN journalist Clarissa Ward: "I respect women, I respect women's rights. If I didn't support women's rights, you wouldn't be standing here."