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Taliban Attacks Afghan Women Asking for Freedom and Equality

Updated: Jan 6, 2023

Women gathered in Kabul, Afghanistan, demanding the right to work, study, and participate in politics

Photo credit: Nava Jamshidi/Getty Images

On August 13, 2022, days before the first anniversary of the marginal Islamist movement’s return to power, a rally was held in Kabul, Afghanistan, by a group of female protesters. In order to disperse protesters who were chanting “bread, work, and freedom” in front of the Ministry of Education building, the Taliban fighters fired into the air and physically assaulted protesters. As an AFP correspondent reported, some journalists who were covering the demonstration were also beaten by the Taliban fighters, and many protesters' mobile phones and banners were confiscated.

Since seizing control on August 15, 2021, following the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban government has violently eliminated the individual and civic rights gained by women in the past two decades. While the Taliban government has allowed some rallies against the US, they have declined permission for any rally for women’s rights since they returned to power.

Endangered Scholars Worldwide (ESW) stands by the students and scholars of Afghanistan whose academic and personal lives have been at risk since the Taliban takeover. We condemn the Taliban’s decision to refuse women and girls above the sixth grade an opportunity to go to school. In order to support Afghan scholars, students, and civilians around the world, we have compiled a list of resources available through the New University in Exile Consortium and the larger academic and activist communities.

To learn more about the Consortium’s efforts to help Afghan girls and women, who are disproportionately targeted by the Taliban regime, see the New York Times article written by Maddy Crowell.

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