The resistance of women in Afghanistan | International
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Before Afghanistan was taken over by the Taliban, I was a teacher in a school in Kabul. I loved my job and had a bright future ahead of me. But when Kabul fell, I fell too. Like millions of other Afghan women, I was deprived of my basic human rights and left without a job.
Every day I faced new restrictions imposed by the Taliban leaders in the name of Islamic law. I couldn’t leave home without a mahram (a male relative), school doors were closed to girls, the Taliban encouraged forced marriages and set up their own courts. Women no longer had freedom in my country.
Social justice was far away; once again the ground was fertile to foment violence against us.
I was so disappointed… I couldn’t just stare out the window at how women were disenfranchised. I would rather stand up and fight, no matter what the cost, than remain silent.
With the participation of friends and acquaintances, and in parallel with other civil rights activists, we created a movement called Afghan Women in Search of Justice, and we took to the streets of Kabul to protest. Our slogan was “Bread, work and freedom”.
For several months we mobilized many Afghan women to reclaim what was rightfully theirs and planned demonstrations, both in Afghanistan and abroad. It has been, without a doubt, a fight full of challenges. I no longer had a carefree life like the one I used to enjoy. She was no longer just a teacher, the mother of two young children; now he represented a nation crying out against injustice and tyranny.
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I needed to be the voice of millions of women crying out for their freedom. I faced opposition from my family and death threats from the Taliban. Our struggle has been violently repressed in the streets. Several comrades have been arrested, disappeared and killed by the Taliban, their lifeless bodies left in ditches. I myself was arrested and tortured for demonstrating with my two children, ages three and seven.
But the suffocating environment and the repression of the Taliban has not made us go back. We will not take a single step back in our positions, we know that on the path to freedom and justice we will have to make many sacrifices and we will encounter many challenges. But despite all this violence, hundreds of women have joined the movement. Together we fight tirelessly to show the world to what extent we are willing to defend what has been achieved in the last 20 years.
The demands of women are not a project, but a stubborn reality. In the current state of Afghanistan, women’s is the only voice crying out against the oppression and crimes of the Taliban. Today, the whole world knows that if Afghanistan has a future, it will be built by women fighters.
A year has passed since the beginning of the civil battle that we women are waging against the practices and ideology of the Taliban. During this time I have been detained and tortured, my friends have been killed, we have received threats, but we never backed down. Every day that passes, the struggle of women makes more sense and becomes more coherent. That society, in our country, and in the rest of the world, believes in the powerful resistance of Afghan women is one of our greatest achievements.
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