The Taliban used force to disperse female activists protesting in Kabul in support of women's rights, according to media reports published on Tuesday, October 26. Several women took to the streets of Kabul to protest against the closure of girls' schools and to criticise the international community for its inaction. Women activists had gathered outside the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), accusing the international community of being unconcerned about the Taliban's abuse of Afghan women's rights.
Deborah Lyons, the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan, met with women from Afghanistan earlier on October 26, to hear their perspectives on the country's significant difficulties. Lyons also met with Taliban commanders last week to discuss humanitarian help, human rights, and a more inclusive Afghan government.
The UNAMA news agency posted an update on Twitter stating, "Women from provinces across #Afghanistan met Monday in Kabul with @DeborahLyonsUN & @Metknu to share views on the considerable challenges facing women in the country. All agreed that every girl has a right to education & every woman the right to work. (sic)"
Women from provinces across #Afghanistan met Monday in Kabul with @DeborahLyonsUN & @Metknu to share views on the considerable challenges facing women in the country. All agreed that every girl has a right to education & every woman the right to work. pic.twitter.com/y1h2RM2kvl— UNAMA News (@UNAMAnews) October 26, 2021
"We urge the UN to put pressure on the Taliban to recognise women's rights," an activist told Russian news agency Sputnik. Millions of teenage girls across Afghanistan are anxiously awaiting a return to their classes, while high schools remain closed, raising concerns about the future of women's education. Activists around Afghanistan have staged a number of protests, urging the Taliban to respect basic human rights, establish a representative government, and establish city authority.
Afghan female athletes, whose dreams of participating at an international level have been dashed, believe the country's political turmoil following the Taliban's takeover has left them with only one thing: 'hope''. Homaira Barakzai, the captain of Afghanistan's national handball team, who was unable to compete in the Asian Women's Handball Championship, was quoted by Voice of America as saying, "It was very painful. Everything has changed with the political change. Our only hope right now is to survive. Our future, as athletes, is unknown." Last month, the games were held in Jordan's capital, Amman.