Afghan Women Protests On Right To Work As Taliban Plans To Announce New Government

As the Taliban in Afghanistan announces on Thursday that they were near to establishing a new government, dozens of women took to the streets in a rare protest for the right to work.

The Guardian reports that in the western city of Herat, some 50 women took to the streets in a rare, defiant protest for the right to work and over the lack of women’s participation in the new government.

“It is our right to have education, work and security,” the protesters chanted in unison, said an AFP journalist who witnessed the protest.

“We are not afraid, we are united,” they added.

One of the organisers of the protest, Basira Taheri, told AFP she wanted the Taliban to include women in the new cabinet.

“We want the Taliban to hold consultations with us,” Taheri said. “We don’t see any women in their gatherings and meetings.”

“I want to say to the international community — please do anything (you can) for Afghan women,” Beheshta Arghand said.

Women’s rights were not the only major concern in the lead-up to the Taliban’s announcement of a new government.

The Islamist militants, who have promised a softer brand of rule than during their brutal reign of 1996-2001, must now modify from insurgent group to governing power.

Nexus News gathered that the announcement of a cabinet, which two Taliban sources told AFP may happen on Friday after afternoon prayers, which would come just days after the turbulent withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, terminating America’s longest war with a stunning military victory for the Islamist group.

On Wednesday, the militants paraded of the military hardware they had seized during their offensive, even flying a Black Hawk helicopter over Kandahar, their movement’s spiritual heartland.

According to Senior leader Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai — a hardliner in the first Taliban administration — who spoke to BBC Pashto in an interview said that while women could proceed with working, there “may not” be a place for them in the cabinet of any future government or any other top post.

 

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