by Samantha Calthrop
On Sunday 19 September, people from across the country gathered in Dublin to protest against the Taliban’s regime in Afghanistan.
Meeting at the GPO in Dublin, protestors called on the Irish government not to recognise the Taliban regime and to denounce their stance on women’s rights. Since their takeover into government, the Taliban have forbidden middle and high school girls from returning to education and have forbidden women in Kabul from working unless their jobs cannot be performed by men.
The Taliban have also been targeting journalists and limiting contact between Afghan residents and their families abroad. Despite promises to the world community that they would create a tolerant society, the Taliban have been rolling back women’s rights initiatives and have introduced a ministry for the “propagation of virtue and the prevention of vice”, whose stated purpose is to enforce Islamic law.
Many members of Ireland’s Afghan community attended the protest, with concerns for friends and family still living in Afghanistan.
Beshta Bakhshi, a member of the Irish Afghan community who left Afghanistan as a child in the 90s, said, “Women in Afghanistan, in a week they have been stripped of their rights for education, right to freedom and right to work.
“Everything they built over the last two decades has been taken away in a week from them. And we have no government, no supporting body to back us up. All this hard work that they worked for over twenty years has been taken away by a minority group.”
“Once the Taliban regime comes in everyone is forced into this miserable life they lived two decades ago. All my mam’s family live in Afghanistan and worked in the Government and civil servants and had good jobs.
“Now everyone is at home and has no idea of what is going to happen next.”