Kabul: Women's rights and civil society activists in Kabul on Sunday gathered in front of the former women's affairs ministry building to react against Taliban policies, demanding equal rights to education and work, according to a media report.
The protest comes as caretaker cabinet on September 17 replaced the ministry of women's affairs with the ministry of virtue and vice, and told formerly employed women to stay at home. The education ministry of the caretaker cabinet on Friday announced that only male students and teachers should report to school.
The protestors called for the caretaker government to re-institute the ministry of women and to allow the girls' secondary schools to be opened.
"The ministry of women, which is the identity of women, should not be eliminated. This elimination means the removal of women from society." TOLO News quoted Lida, a civil society activist saying.
The protestors emphasized that the women who have been prohibited from working are financially responsible for their families. "There are women who are breadwinners for their families. There is no way for them, except working," said Hasina Sarwari, a women's rights activist.
Meanwhile, a movement called "Wave of Change" led by Fawzia Koofi held a meeting on Sunday, and called for the inclusion of women in the caretaker government, otherwise the movement will launch civil protests.
TOLO news reported Fawzia Koofi saying theTaliban sideline women from society. "It is clear that the Taliban still hold their previous ideas and have not changed." Koofi who attended the meeting virtually reportedly said.
Reacting to the developments, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said on Sunday that they will establish for a potent and effective administration under the Sharia law for women, adding that there was no need of giving it the name of a Ministry or sub-division of the Ministry.
In a recent interview, the spokesman had said that the former Ministry did nothing for the betterment of the lives of Afghan women.
Mujahid added that despite the existence of the Ministry, the women in rural areas were not given their basic rights.