Women’s rights and human rights activists, led by the Feminist Majority, protested the Taliban’s policies of gender apartheid in Afghanistan in noontime pickets on Wednesday, July 30 at the Pakistani and Afghan embassies. Approximately 80 people protested, representing groups such as the Feminist Majority, NOW, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.
“The strong turnout showed that women’s and human rights organizations are taking a stand on this important issue. We will not stand silently by as our sisters in Afghanistan become victims of inhumane gender apartheid,” stated Negar Katirai, a Feminist Majority intern who helped coordinate the demonstration.
The Taliban conquered Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, in September 1996 and immediately declared an end to women’s human rights there. Women are no longer allowed to work or attend school, and have been beaten for not wearing Islamic dress, a full-length. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are the only nations to have given the Taliban official recognition.