Afghanistan: Women Protest 'Shameful' U.N. Silence on Taliban Repression

Afghanistan: Women Protest 'Shameful' U.N. Silence on Taliban Repression

Women in Kabul, Afghanistan, organized yet another protest on Tuesday demanding the Taliban terrorist organization, which currently runs the country, allow them to return to work and re-open schools for girls.

The protesters also addressed the international community – and the United Nations, in particular – demanding that self-proclaimed women’s rights advocates pressure the Taliban into adhering to the promise it made when it came to power in August that it would respect the rights of women.

The Taliban took over the country on August 15 after a nationwide conquest campaign triggered by President Joe Biden’s decision to violate an agreement predecessor Donald Trump made with the jihadists that required the latter not to attack U.S. or other foreign forces. Among the group’s first actions in power was to shut down schools and block women from education; they also banned women from workplaces and ordered all women nationwide not to leave their homes.

Afghan women have organized nearly ceaseless waves of protests, particularly in Kabul and Herat, against these measures, participating in peaceful assemblies by chanting and raising signs outlining their demands to the new regime. Taliban jihadists have attacked several of these protests despite senior Taliban leaders vowing the terrorists would not use violence against civilians.

The Kabul protest on Tuesday, according to Afghan news agency Khaama Press, differed from most of the previous assemblies in that participants demanded the United Nations act to defend their rights.

A number of women on Tuesday protested in Kabul and called for girls’ education and for women’s right to work. They also called on the international community to hear the voice of women.#TOLOnewspic.twitter.com/ltOgBHB5Wp

— TOLOnews (@TOLOnews) October 26, 2021

The protest took place outside of the U.N.’s Afghanistan mission headquarters, and the women reportedly demanded to meet with program leader Deborah Lyons and make their demands heard.

“The protestors said that the silence of the U.N. against the ongoing situation in Afghanistan is ‘shameful,'” Khaama reported. “The women chanted ‘rights to education, rights to work, are the fundamental rights of women’ and ‘history will be ashamed of the silence of the U.N.'”

Tolo News, an Afghan news broadcaster, reported that the women also made the case that their participation in the workforce and access to education are consistent with sharia, the Islamic law. Taliban jihadists have repeatedly asserted that they would only respect the rights for women that exist within sharia, implying that basic civic rights afforded to women in free states would remain off-limits.

“Today half of Afghanistan’s population has been removed. We are deprived of our rights,” protester Marjan Amiri told Tolo News. Another protester lamented “the international community’s silence over the situation in Afghanistan,” noting this as the central reason for the protest.

No reports surfaced of the Taliban attacking Tuesday’s protest, perhaps because it addressed the United Nations and not only the Taliban itself. A similar protest in Kabul last week in front of the Afghan Ministry of Education – on that occasion, specifically demanding the return of girls to schools – resulted in Taliban terrorists assaulting the about 20 women convened.

Frances Martel