Women in Herat Mark International Women’s Day with Anti-Taliban Chants

International Women’s Day is celebrated globally in various forms. However, women in Afghanistan had to celebrate it in secret locations due to the Taliban’s oppressive regulations and discrimination against women. Despite the restrictions, women in Herat province gathered on Women’s Day and voiced their opposition to the Taliban’s misogyny in a clandestine location. Additionally, some women have inscribed anti-Taliban slogans on the walls throughout Herat province.

In Herat province, a group of women chanted slogans against the Taliban’s restrictions on women in Afghanistan. They printed and distributed these slogans to people in different parts of the province, and some were even stuck on the walls of the city. The slogans included “Woman, Revolution, Release”, “We Protested, Thus We Sustained”, “Women Have the Right to Live”, and “Herat Women Uprise Against Living or Educating Under the Taliban’s Rule”.

Hadisa, a protester from Herat Province, is one of many girls who have been denied their right to education. To celebrate Women’s Day, she joined a group of protesting women. In an interview with Hasht-e-Subh, Hadisa stated that Afghan women have been deprived of their rights and are not considered human beings under the Taliban’s rule. She went on to say, “The Taliban should not take away women’s rights to work and education, as they deserve them. We are not allowed to go to parks, as the Taliban do not recognize women as human beings either.”

The female protesters stated that the Taliban are attempting to completely exclude women from society and have not made any concessions regarding women’s rights. Parisa, a female protestor who inscribed anti-Taliban slogans on the walls and gates of Herat city, implored women to join the revolt against the Taliban. “Afghan women do not desire to live or pursue their education under the Taliban’s rule as they believe they are equal to men and are constantly being excluded from the public sphere,” Parisa said.

Parisa asserted that the Taliban will not alter their ways, and those who believe otherwise are mistaken. She continued by noting that the Taliban are carrying out the same policies they had in their previous government, such as beating women in public, denying women educational opportunities, and prohibiting women from parks, which were all commonplace during the Taliban’s former regime and are still occurring now.

She stressed that the international community should not recognize the Taliban, as their leaders have proven to be untrustworthy to both Afghans and the international community. “Anyone who believes the Taliban to be modern or reformed is sadly mistaken, as they are completely against women and do not want them to have their basic rights. I urge all female activists to overthrow the Taliban’s rule and not allow them to be recognized internationally,” she added.

The Taliban’s rule over Afghanistan has prevented women from fully celebrating International Women’s Day. In various parts of the country, many Afghan women and girls have gathered in secret locations, celebrated this day, and chanted anti-Taliban slogans. The majority of women are striving to restore their basic rights to education and work, as the Taliban have denied Afghan women access to education, work, and individual travel.