“No to compulsory hijab,” chanted the women’s movement for justice and freedom in response to the Taliban’s plan to make the hijab compulsory.
On Monday, May 9, members of the movement held a rally in the Afghan capital Kabul, declaring the compulsory “misogyny” of the hijab that has plunged society into darkness and authoritarianism.
The protesters also passed a resolution declaring that the Taliban interferes in the most personal aspects of women’s lives and that this constitutes a flagrant violation of the individual, social and civic rights of a human being.
They claim that by doing so, the Taliban will gain complete control over women.
The women protesters from the Justice and Freedom Movement claimed that women’s dress in Afghanistan has always been Islamic and religious, and that wearing this style of dress or any other is a completely personal choice.
They further claimed that the burqa (Chadari) is a “tribal tradition” imposed on all women in Afghanistan, rather than an “Islamic culture”.
Protesters see the Taliban’s recent decree as an attack on the culture of other ethnic groups in Afghanistan, and say it is unethical to impose the culture and cover of one tribe on other groups ethnic.
These women urged artists, scholars and other prominent members of Afghan society to speak out against this harsh and “oppressive” decision.
Women of the Justice and Freedom Movement have warned men that unless they stand up to the Taliban, a dreadful situation will prevail and will extend to men as well.
The international community and aid agencies have also been called upon to pressure the Taliban to stop oppressing women.
Afghan women were encouraged to avoid being touched and were persuaded to wear their everyday clothes during the protest.
In a recent decree, the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice declared that adult women must wear the hijab and that the parents of women who do not wear it will be imprisoned and tortured.