The Feminist Majority led demonstrations with international, human rights, Muslim, and women’s groups in Washington DC and Los Angeles today in protest of UNOCAL’s business relationship with the repressive Taliban regime. The California-based oil company has made steps to further a partnership with the militant, fundamentalist group, which currently controls much of Afghanistan.
Fifty people from women’s rights and Islamic organizations came out to show support for the women of Afghanistan in Washington, DC. At the Washington, D.C. protest, Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal urged Unocal to refuse to proceed with negotiations with the Taliban until the rights of women and girls are fully restored.
Since the Taliban seized control of Kabul in 1996, women and girls have been denied their basic human rights. Women are confined to their houses, only allowed to leave with the permission of a close male relative. Women and girls are denied access to health care, work, and education. In addition, women are forced to cover their bodies completely with a burqa, a debilitating and restrictive head-to-toe garment. Penalties for not obeying the Taliban’s laws include being stoned, beaten, or shot.###