New videos show small groups of Afghan women protesting for their rights on the streets of Kabul.
In a 45-second video, shared by Al Jazeera correspondent Hameed Mohammad Shah, four women hold up signs and shout slogans. The camera pans to show a man with a rifle slung on his shoulder walking near the women. Other armed men stand in the back of a pick-up truck nearby, as a crowd looks on from the other side of the street.
According to reports, it was the first agitation of its kind since the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan.
— @HameedMohdShah (@HameedMohdShah) August 17, 2021
In another clip shared by Shah, more women can be seen marching through the streets and chanting slogans. Armed men seem to be pointing and speaking to the women, but don’t appear to be getting in the way of their protest.
On Tuesday, Taliban representatives promised to protect the rights of women. Last time the Taliban was in power – in the late 1990s and early 200s – women were largely confined to their homes, not allowed to study or work, and could only travel if accompanied by a male chaperone.
“We are going to allow women to work and study. We have got frameworks, of course. Women are going to be very active in the society but within the framework of Islam,” Zabihullah Mujahid, the group’s spokesman, said at a press conference in Kabul.
But western powers and activists are raising concerns about history repeating itself, pointing at possible human rights violations that are likely to take place under the Taliban’s rule. One of Afghanistan’s first female mayors, Zarifa Ghafari, earlier said she had no option but to wait for the Taliban to come and kill her.
“I’m sitting here waiting for them to come. There is no one to help me or my family. I’m just sitting with them and my husband. And they will come for people like me and kill me,” Ghafari said.