Women in Kabul Protest for Food, Work and Equality: “Poverty Forced Us To Gather Here”

On Dec. 16, dozens of brave Afghan women in Kabul staged a rally against the spread of poverty calling for food, work, equality and full participation in all social, economic and political spheres. The women marched through Kabul holding banners that demanded women’s political participation and the release of Afghanistan’s frozen assets by the international community.

“We are witnessing the gradual death of Afghanistan. Poverty forced us to gather here. The price of materials is spiking and the government is unable to control the prices,” said Marjana Amiri, a protester.

Women protesters also released a statement about the world’s silence toward Afghan women’s rights and called on the international community to not abandon Afghans, particularly women.

“Our children are dying from starvation. Our families are struggling to find bread for their children. International community: Please hear our voice—don’t abandon Afghanistan and its people,” said Atifa, a protester.

Despite their promise to an inclusive and more moderate government, the Taliban have kept the majority of Afghan women from employment and education. Afghans, especially women, are worried and scared about losing the rights they have had for the last two decades. Key global donors have blocked most of the aid and money that would otherwise have gone to Afghanistan.

In response to the humanitarian crisis, the World Bank agreed to transfer $280 million from a frozen trust fund, and the United States formalized guidance allowing personal remittances to flow to Afghanistan. The World Food Program and the United Nation have been distributing food—but it is not enough.

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