BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC NEWS
 You are in: World: South Asia
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

SERVICES 
Tuesday, 20 November, 2001, 12:32 GMT
Afghan women shed their burqas
Afghan women shed their burqas
Showing their faces in public for the first time in years
A group of women in the Afghan capital, Kabul, have thrown off their burqas to demand respect for women's rights after the fall of the Taleban.


You have been imprisoned in your own homes, you have been beaten, you have been deprived of work and forced to beg, but you stood firm and you should be called heroes

Soraya Parlika
The women, including politicians, academics and activists, were among the first to show their faces in public in the capital since the Taleban took Kabul in 1996.

Organiser Soraya Parlika said the first priority was for women to return to work.

The Taleban denied women education and the right to work, and banned them from leaving their homes without covering themselves from head to toe in the burqa.

Meanwhile, the UN's food agency said women had resumed working for its office in Kabul.

'Heroic women'

At Tuesday's protest in Kabul, the members of the newly-formed Union of Women in Afghanistan lifted their heavy veils or wore light headscarves in their place.

Afghan women demand the right to work
Women are demanding the right to work
"You are the heroic women of Kabul," Soraya Parlika, a former communist and secretary general of the Red Crescent told them.

"You have been imprisoned in your own homes, you have been beaten, you have been deprived of work and forced to beg, but you stood firm and you should be called heroes.

"Now it's time to fight for your rights."

After the Northern Alliance took Kabul last week, a woman's voice has been heard on the radio, and a woman has presented broadcasts on the city's only television station.

Girls are also going to school, many for the first time in their lives.

Now activists are hoping that a new constitution guaranteeing equal rights for women will be drawn up ahead of the creation of a broad-based coalition.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Bridgett Kendall
"Those women who want to can show their faces"
See also:

19 Nov 01 | UK Politics
Cherie 'lifts veil' for Afghan women
16 Nov 01 | UK Politics
First ladies back Afghan women
13 Nov 01 | South Asia
Afghan women find new freedom
25 Oct 01 | South Asia
Afghan women speak out
16 Oct 01 | From Our Own Correspondent
Afghan women's life in the shadows
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more South Asia stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more South Asia stories