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Liberty to Live: Afghan women protests for basic rights

The life of a woman in Afghanistan is more of survival than living. Since the Taliban rule from 2021 in the country Afghani women have lost count of the restrictions they are facing in the imposition of Sharia law. Amid the repression and suffocation, more than a dozen women took to the streets of Kabul for a brief protest demanding their rights on the occasion of UN's International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.


The protest in usual fashion was followed by close surveillance of Taliban fighters and cars having intelligence officials roaming in the neighborhood. The protesters came in the traditional veil with dark goggles and surgical marks barring their faces but their voices still echoed as they shouted "Women, Life, Solidarity" and posters demanding freedom. Not a shocking revelation by one of the protesters claimed of the detainment of three of the women in the march who were shamed and humiliated and released afterward by the Taliban.


As women investing countries polish their existing rights and freedom, Afghani women struggle to even breathe in a nation where they are constantly striving to attain education as schools are closed after 6th grade in most of the provinces, and working outside. Furthermore, a compulsion of Mehram or men of relation which includes father, husband, real uncles, and real brother have to accompany a woman when they travel further than 72 km or to attend a health care facility. This month, the gates of parks, fun fairs, and gyms are permanently closed to women by the authorities. The calamity that has struck Afghanistan from the onset of The Taliban rule has a long list of repercussions for all of its citizens but like in any other part of the world, timeline, or circumstances, women wear the worst of the consequences. Unemployment and shortage of food have risen to numerous problems and crimes in Afghanistan leading to a rise in child labor, displacement, and illiteracy. One-third of the total population starves in the country but the Taliban chose to freeze billions of dollars of American financial aid, affecting the budget and receiving the line of poverty that holds below 90% of the population. Women face loss of employment opportunities and crimes by authorities including kidnapping, honor killing, or ransacking their premises. The female judges have faced attacks from the free Taliban fighters they once ordered to be jailed. Protests and marches find no place in the streets of Afghanistan as heavy installations of Taliban fighters stand on every corner. Afghanistan suffers under the grasp of tyranny by the Taliban waiting for a change that the world prays to come soon.


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