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Afghan women protest the Taliban with ornate, colourful clothing

This colourful protest comes after photos emerged of women completely covered in black, waving Taliban flags at a Kabul university.

The Taliban’s new rules regarding what Afghan females can and cannot wear in educational settings, has ignited yet another protest from Afghan women around the world.

These women are posting photos of themselves on their social media pages, adorned in colourful, traditional clothing.

Another Afghan woman who has posed and posted a photo of herself in traditional vibrant Afghan clothing to support women's rights against the Taliban
Image: Clayton News Daily

The Taliban recently enforced the segregation of female university students by outlining the prescribed ‘uniform’ as a black hijab. They stated that these measures are in accordance with their interpretation of Islamic Sharia law.

Diana Sayed, a Melbourne-based international human rights lawyer, is one of the many women who oppose the Taliban.

In an act of defiance, Sayed tweeted a photo of herself in vibrant Afghan clothing with the caption,

“Proud to be an #Afghan #woman”.

Sayed, also the CEO of the Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights, stated the Taliban’s new rules surrounding women and their education in Afghanistan has been confronting:

“To see this shift back with the Taliban to this dress mandate, it feels quite dystopian. For the most part, it is something that a lot of Afghan women, a lot of researchers in Afghanistan and abroad, have never seen to this extent,” 

“The style, the level of covering, it is not synonymous with Afghan women, and nor have we ever in our history dressed like that.

“We’ve been a country that is so filled with colour and joy and life, and to see that outfit was further heartbreak for people who don’t identify with it.”

Dr Bahar Jalali posted a selfie via Twitter of wearing traditional clothing
Image: Hindustan Times

A former history professor at the American University of Afghanistan, Bahar Jalali, also participated by posting a colourful photo online via LinkedIn and Twitter:

“No woman has ever dressed like this in the history of Afghanistan. This is utterly foreign and alien to Afghan culture. I posted my pic in the traditional Afghan dress to inform, educate, and dispel the misinformation that is being propagated by the Taliban.” 

A Melburnian woman, Tamana Nasir, also posted on Twitter with the caption:

“This is the real #afghan culture the #taliban are trying to hide”.

Image: BBC

Peymana Assad, UK politician tweeted a relatable Harry Potter reference to describe the photos of the engulfing black garments worn by the women at Kabul university:

“Our cultural attire is not the Dementor outfits the Taliban have women wearing.”

Diana Sayed said these images from Kabul have resonated internationally.

On the Taliban’s dress code, she further mentioned said:

“That is the crux of this – you don’t get to decide and determine for us. We are women who want to self determine and govern our own lives and the future of our country,” 

“By erasing that crucial aspect of our identity – whether it is our clothing, our traditions – you are essentially erasing us as people and the diversity that exists within women. That to me should set off so many alarms with the international community.”

Photo of Wazhma Sayle in Stockholm, Sweden in traditional Afghan clothing. Photo obtained from social media via Reuters
Image: Reuters