Women protest in Kabul to demand food, political and work freedom

Kabul, Dec 16 (EFE).- A group of women and a handful of men took to the streets of the Afghan capital on Thursday to call on the international community to provide them food and protect their rights to work and political participation amid deteriorating humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country.

The protesters include teachers and social and human rights activists, even as the Taliban have virtually banned demonstrations after coming to power in August.

They shouted slogans and asked the Taliban government to provide food for the Afghans and their children and ensure women’s participation in government policymaking.

The demonstration was the latest in a series of protests after the Islamists released a special decree on women’s rights, limited to basic respect and marriage.

The decree did not refer to education or work, despite repeated calls by the international community.

The Taliban have been insisting since they came to power that women will be able to return to their jobs or schools in the future, pending a framework within the limits of the strict Islamic code.

“The protest was held spontaneously by women and the purpose was (to invite the attention of the world community towards) the economical and human crises of Afghanistan,” Mursal Ayar, a protester, told EFE.

Ayar said the Taliban had denied women their rights to work and participation in government.

The demonstration came as the country is at the brink of starvation amid unprecedented economic and humanitarian crises.

Food prices have gone through the roof to the extent that Afghans find it difficult to feed their families.

The Afghanistan currency has extended losses to a record low amid the raging turmoil.

“Our protest was to highlight the economical and human crises, high prices. None of the Afghan families can survive in such a situation,” social activist Marjan Amiri told EFE.

The protesters asked the international community not to watch the Afghans silently in a dire situation.

They said they did not expect the Taliban government to handle the crisis and prevent a disaster from unfolding.

“Our protest is for the international community to avert a disaster waiting to happen. I do not know why the international community is watching us (silently),” Amiri said.

She said they had gathered since poverty was hitting the people across Afghanistan, and they were losing their family members and children to the grave situation.

“Instead of helping us and handling the situation, the Taliban government is only watching us. The international community is watching us cruelly as well. This is shame. We are really disappointed. We are losing our children and family members,” she said.

Amiri noted that the prices of essential commodities were skyrocketing, making it difficult for the families to buy even food.

“This is a huge shame for the government of Taliban that they are not able to at least provide necessary food to their people,” she said. EFE


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