“No to mandatory hijab,” chanted the women’s movement for justice and freedom in response to the Taliban’s plan to make hijab mandatory.
On Monday, May 9, members of the movement organized a gathering in Kabul, the Afghan capital, declaring the mandatory hijab “misogyny” that has sunk society into darkness and authoritarianism.
The women demonstrators also adopted a resolution stating that the Taliban are intruding in the most personal aspects of women’s lives, and that this was a clear violation of a human being’s individual, social, and civic rights.
They claim that by doing so, the Taliban will gain complete control over women.
The protesting women of Justice and Freedom Movement have asserted that women’s attire in Afghanistan has always been Islamic and religious, and that wearing this or any other style of clothing is a wholly personal choice.
They further claimed that the burqa (Chadari) is “tribal tradition” enforced on all women in Afghanistan, rather than “Islamic culture”.
The protestors consider the Taliban’s recent decree as an attack on the culture of other ethnic groups in Afghanistan, and say it’s unethical to impose one tribe’s culture and cover on other ethnic groups.
These women urged artists, academics, and other significant members of Afghan society to speak out against the stringent and “oppressive” decision.
The Justice and Freedom Movement’s women have cautioned males that unless they stand up to the Taliban, a dreadful condition will prevail extending to men as well.
The international community and aid agencies have also been called upon to put pressure on the Taliban to stop oppressing women.
Afghan women were encouraged to avoid being affected and were persuaded to dress in their everyday attire, during the protest.
In a recent edict, the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice stated that adult women must wear the hijab, and that parents of women who do not wear it will be imprisoned and tortured.