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Afghan activists protest outside shuttered women affairs ministry By Reuters


(Reuters) – About two dozen women activists protested outside Afghanistan’s women’s ministry on Sunday after it was closed by Taliban militants in power in Kabul and replaced by their Ministry for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

The female employees claimed they have been trying for weeks to get back to work in the ministry after the Taliban tookover. However, the Taliban told them to go home.

Outside the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, a sign for Ministry for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice was replaced.

Baseera Tawana said that “The Ministry of Women’s Affairs needs to be reactivated.” She was also one of the demonstrators outside. “The removals of women are the same as those of us who want to destroy humankind.”

Between 1996 and 2001, Taliban Islamists controlled Afghanistan. Girls were forbidden from attending school. Also, women were prohibited from getting work or education.

The Ministry for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, known as the moral police of that group, enforced strict interpretations of Sharia. This included public executions and floggings and required that girls wear a dress code.

This protest took place a day after girls were allowed to return to their primary schools in gender-segregated classes. Older girls waited anxiously to find out when and if they could resume school.

Taranum Sayeedi, a protester said that it was impossible to suppress the voices of Afghan women by restricting their movement and keeping them at home.

“The women of Afghanistan are different from the women of 26 years back.”

Taliban officials said that they would not be returning to the fundamentalist policies of their predecessors, which included the prohibition on girls getting an education.

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