A group of Afghan women gathered to protest in front of the Presidential Palace after the Taliban regained control of the country on Sunday Aug. 15 following the withdrawal of US troops.
The women marched to demand protection of the rights of women in Afghanistan, such as the right to work, the right for education and the right to political participation.
Many are concerned that the Taliban will roll back two decades of gains women and ethnic minorities have made while US troops were in the country, AP reported.
During its rule from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban enforced a strict interpretation of Sharia, or Islamic law, committing massacres against Afghan civilians, denying hundreds of thousands of starving civilians UN food supplies and carrying out a scorched earth policy of burning fertile land and destroying tens of thousands of homes.
It banned girls from going to school and workplaces and required them to be accompanied by a male relative and wear a burqa at all times in public.
Women who disobeyed were whipped or executed.Cultural activities and media, such as art, movies and music, were also prohibited.
In its first press conference since taking power on Tuesday, the Taliban spokesperson said that women will be “very active within our society” and will be allowed to work and study “within the bounds of Islamic law.”
“We assure that there will be no violence against women,” he said, “No prejudice against women will be allowed, but the Islamic values are our framework.”However, there are already reports of women being ordered to leave their office and turned away from schools.