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Photos: Afghan Women Are Protesting For Their Rights

9September 2021

Women gather to demand their rights under the Taliban rule during a protest in Kabul on Sept. 3.

Wali Sabawoon/AP

Wali Sabawoon/AP

Day after day this month, Afghan women have taken to the streets in groups large and small to protest against Taliban rule, the regime’s new curbs on their rights and Pakistan’s influence in Afghanistan. “We want equal rights, we want women in government,” women chanted in Kabul this week. Others shouted and held up signs for “azadi,” freedom. Some women held signs with a question in English: “Why the world is watching us silently and cruelly?”

Protesters march in Kabul on Wednesday, a day after the Taliban announced their all-male interim government. At left, a protester carries a sign with a photo showing Banu Negar, a pregnant policewoman who was killed in front of her relatives early this week in Ghor province. Family members accused the Taliban of carrying out the killing.

Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

In response, the Taliban have at times used force — wielding whips, beating women with batons, pointing guns and firing weapons into the air.

There are no women in the Taliban’s newly named interim cabinet, and the new rulers lost no time in abolishing the country’s Ministry of Women’s Affairs.

“What a woman does, she cannot do the work of a ministry. You put something on her neck that she cannot carry,” a Taliban spokesman told Afghanistan’s TOLO News.

On the streets, ads showing women’s faces have been blacked out and Taliban members erased street art and murals that often conveyed public service messages.

The protests have continued despite a Taliban ban on demonstrations without government permission. Also, the Taliban have so far detained more than a dozen journalists covering the ongoing protests, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Some Afghan journalists have been severely beaten.

Here are some scenes from protests this month.

Taliban members try to stop the advance of protesters marching through Kabul’s Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood on Wednesday.

Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Afghan women take part in a protest march for their rights under the Taliban rule in Kabul on Sept. 3.

Hoshang Hashimi/AFP via Getty Images

Hoshang Hashimi/AFP via Getty Images

Afghan women chant slogans in front of Taliban fighters during an anti-Pakistan demonstration near the Pakistani Embassy in Kabul on Tuesday. The Taliban fired shots into the air to disperse crowds.

Hoshang Hashimi/AFP via Getty Images

Hoshang Hashimi/AFP via Getty Images

A Taliban fighter stands guard as Afghan women take part in an anti-Pakistan protest in Kabul on Wednesday. At far right, a protester holds a sign with a photo of Banu Negar.

Hoshang Hashimi/AFP via Getty Images

Hoshang Hashimi/AFP via Getty Images

Afghans march toward the presidential building in Kabul in a protest against Pakistan on Tuesday.

Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

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