Afghan women call for respect in rare protest

Herat: Defiant Afghan women held a rare protest Thursday saying they were willing to accept the burqa if their daughters could still go to school under Taliban rule.

“It is our right to have education, work and security,” the group of around 50 female demonstrators chanted, waving placards on the streets of Afghanistan’s western city of Herat.

During the Taliban’s first stint in power, before being ousted by a US-led invasion in 2001, women and girls were mostly denied education and employment.

Burqas became mandatory in public, women could not leave home without a male companion, and street protests were unthinkable.

“We are here to ask for our rights,” Fereshta Taheri, one of the demonstrators, told AFP by phone. – AFP