Men In Burqas March For Women's Rights In Afghanistan
The Debrief: Men take to the streets to promote women's equality in Kabul, Afghanistan
Some uplifting news this morning – over in Afghanistan, yesterday evening a group of men dressed in burqas and marched through the streets of Kabul in support of women’s rights, holding placards that said things like, ‘Don’t tell women what to wear’ and ‘Equality’.
Reuters reports that the 20 or so men wore the sky blue burqas to protest against enforced burqa-wearing, which is synonymous with Taliban rule back in 1999. ‘One of the best ways to understand how women feel is to walk around and wear a burqa,’ one of the protestors claimed, with a lot of the men saying that wearing one felt ‘like a prison’.
It’s a sensitive subject, though, because while a lot of women are indeed forced to wear the burqa, a lot of others prefer it to going without. At the very least, though, women should be able to choose whether or not they want to wear it themselves. And not get crap for it if they decide they don’t.
‘Today’s protest against the burqa is a Western move,’ a male spectator told an ITN reporter. ‘The women should not be deceived by this move because Islam gives women the best rights.’ Another onlooker, a traffic warden, added: ‘What is the point of this? All of the women in my family wear burqas. I wouldn’t let them go out without one.’
The protest, in honour of International Women’s Day, hinges on this concept – of men controlling how women appear – and Human Rights Watch report that since the country has been out of the international media’s eye since the Taliban regularly hit headlines in the previous decade, a lot of the progressive work towards equality has been undone.
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