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Afghan women spent women’s day protesting as Afghanistan named most repressive country for women

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To mark International Women’s Day, a group of Afghan women took to the streets of Afghanistan’s Ghor province to protest restrictions on women’s rights to education and work.

Taliban officials reportedly blocked media coverage, in which women protesting against the protests asked the ruling government to reverse the ban and allow women and girls back into public life.

Before that, a women’s group in Kabul had protested against the Taliban’s harsh policies on women and girls, but nothing has changed for the better so far.

Afghan women
A photo file of Afghan women

Since the Taliban’s return to power in August 2021, the group has issued a series of decrees that have completely excluded women from public life. These measures launched great confidence at the national and international levels.

The gender breakdown shows that women and girls have been banned from regular schools and universities in the last 18 months, without any prospect of seeing positive changes in the near future.

United Nations report: Afghanistan the most oppressive country for women

The UN mission reported on Thursday that Afghanistan’s new leaders had shown almost “unanimity over the imposition of laws that leave many women and girls trapped in their homes”.

Despite initial promises of moderation, the Taliban have stepped up since taking power, as US and NATO forces were in the final weeks of their withdrawal from Afghanistan after two decades of war.
“Afghanistan under the Taliban remains the most oppressive country in the world in terms of women’s rights,” Roza Otunbayeva, special representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and head of the United Nations Political Mission in Afghanistan, said in a press release.

Later, she told the UN Security Council in New York that “the Taliban claimed to have united the country, but they also divided it by sex”. The Taliban say to the United Nations “that this gender discrimination is not an important problem, and it is being addressed” and “they say that they should be judged for other achievements,” she said.

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