After the Taliban deployed security in Kabul opted to aerial gunfire, lashes and manhandling of female protesters, who were marching in an anti-Taliban rally in Kabul; veiled women have taken to the streets and staged a rally in support of the Taliban regime.
Around 300 women, wearing black veils marched on the streets of Kabul and later sat at the Kabul university lecture theatre, asserting their support to the Taliban leadership, especially on gender segregation.
The women were carrying with them Taliban flags while the speakers criticized the west for what they called, an illegal invasion of Afghanistan.
In comparison to a women-led anti-Taliban protest rally, where participants and even journalists were blocked, stopped and assaulted by the Taliban security personal; the Taliban heavily guarded this particular pro-Taliban rally.
Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid, responding to a question about the anti-Taliban protest rally, said that there is no permission for any rally unless it is permitted by the Taliban regime.
This interpreted in one way means that anyone wanting to raise their voice against the Taliban, will not be allowed to voice their concern, while on the other hand, it means that a pro-Taliban event or rally, will be allowed by the Taliban regime, primarily because it would act at a counter-narrative to anti-Taliban sentiments, especially with reference to women’s rights in the country.
The speakers at the Shaheed Rabbani Education University, where the pro-Taliban women gathered, said they were against those women, who are protesting against the Taliban on the streets, insisting that those women are not representatives of women.
“Is it freedom to like the last government? No, it is not freedom. The last government was misusing women. They were recruiting women just by their beauty”, said one of the speakers at the gathering.
“Those not wearing the Hijab are harming all of us”, said Shabana Omari, a student of the university, who criticized women who are not wearing headscarves.
“We are supporting our government with all our strength”, said another speaker Somaiya.
Women’s rights in Afghanistan have become a global debate, especially after the Taliban announced their interim government with zero representation of women and later banned women from playing any sport, as it would reveal their faces and bodies.
The new Taliban government maintains that it would be providing all rights to the women, which are legitimate under the Islamic Shariah law, which includes Hijab or Burka as the dresscode.