Protesting Afghan women injured in Kabul stampede

Women came out in Kabul to protest and express their anger against the restrictions imposed on women by the Taliban
Last Updated 30 December 2021, 13:53 IST

Afghan women took to the streets of Kabul to protest against the discriminatory restrictions being imposed against them, including the recent travel restrictions on women. But shots fired in the air by Taliban security personnel led to a stampede that left a number of women protesters injured.

Hundreds of women came out in Kabul to protest and express their anger against the restrictions imposed on women by the Taliban, which continue to get tougher, spreading fear of the similar impositions during the previous rule of the Taliban when strict curbs were imposed on women, barring them from their basic rights of education, employment and other basic facilities.

"At least 130 women attended the protest in Kabul, and shots fired in the air by the Taliban militants trying to disperse the demonstrators prompted the fleeing protesters to fall and trample one another. Several women sustained injuries in the stampede," said an eyewitness.

Another protester who got injured in the stampede said that even though she was in a lot of pain, she felt unsafe to see the doctor.

"My face is injured so badly that even now when I speak with you, I am in much pain. We couldn't even go to a doctor because we don't feel safe, we are threatened," she said.

"Even now I am shaking with fear as I speak with you," she added.

The protesters also slammed the Taliban leadership and its militants for killing soldiers who had served under the previous government of the Ashraf Ghani regime.

The Taliban leadership, while promising and assuring the international community to ensure the rights of employment and other basic rights to the women of the country, have been imposing restrictions on travelling alone, barring teenage girls from going to school and directing vehicles to refrain from picking up female passengers who do not wear a headscarf.

The Taliban leadership has also shut down the former administration's Women's Affairs Ministry.

The ongoing restrictions being imposed in Afghanistan as law by the Taliban are being widely criticised and questioned, with many declaring them as dangerous to the nation's growth and global acceptability.

"Women cannot travel alone or go to schools and colleges. This kind of retrogressive thinking is dangerous," said Pakistan's Federal Minister for Information, Fawad Chaudhry.

The issue has garnered global attention, with many calling on the Taliban leadership to take realistic steps towards provision of basic rights to women as this is among the top demands, mandatory for international recognition of the new Taliban government in Afghanistan.

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(Published 30 December 2021, 13:53 IST)

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