Taliban fighters reportedly beat women protesters and fired into the air on Saturday as they violently dispersed a rally in Kabul.
Approximately 40 women marched in front of the education ministry building in the Afghan capital while chanting: “Bread, work and freedom.”
The protesters carried banners that read “15 August is a black day” as they demanded the right to work and to take part in politics, according to AFP.
NDTV reported that the protesters chanted: “Justice, justice. We’re fed up with ignorance.”
The outlet reported that female protesters who took refuge in nearby shops were chased by Taliban fighters, who beat them with their rifle butts. According to multiple reports, some journalists covering the protest were also beaten by the Taliban fighters.
Ever since the Taliban swept back into power last year, tens of thousands of girls have been shut out of secondary schools, while women have been barred from returning to many government jobs. The women’s affairs ministry was also shut down in September 2021.
On 26 December last year, the Taliban issued a directive saying that women who wished to travel more than 45 miles (72km) should be accompanied by a “close male family member”. It also instructed vehicle owners to refuse rides to women not wearing head or face coverings.
Further travel restrictions were placed on women in March this year, with the Taliban telling airlines in Afghanistan that women should not be allowed to board domestic or international flights without a male chaperone.
And on 7 May this year, the Taliban ordered women in Afghanistan to wear the all-covering burqa in public.
Here’s the list of all the rights women in Afghanistan have lost since the Taliban takeover.