‘Don’t touch my clothes’: Afghan women respond to Taliban’s hijab diktat

Hyderabad: Women in Afghanistan vehemently protested against the Taliban’s mandate of making hijab compulsory by addressing the issue on social media.

Women from the country have been using the hashtag #donttouchmyclothes on social media platforms to share pictures of themselves dressed in traditional attire as a form of protest.

The protest and trend started after a historian, Dr Bahar Jalali, posted a picture of herself on September 12, adorning a cultural attire with the hashtag, in a response to hundreds of women attending the Kabul University in a fully veiled attire under the Taliban’s sharia laws.

Although women received support from around the world, some women stressed that they do not always dress in their traditional/cultural attires and want a right to choose what to adorn without being forced to cover themselves up completely. 

The Taliban took over the country on August 15 to bring Sharia Law into place with an exclusively male government that claims to give women their rights but has limited them under the sharia. They replaced the Ministry of Women’s Affairs with the Ministry of Vice and Virtue even as women demanded their right to work and education.

In fact, their most recent act was the banning of the broadcast of the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) second leg after sacking its chief, Hamid Shinwari, replacing him with a member of Haqqani’s.

The ban has been explained stating that the content is ‘anti-Islamic as women are present in the audience without covering their hair and also criticised the performances of female cheerleaders.

Owing to the Taliban’s earlier regime (1996- 2001) which misrepresented Sharia law, countless women were stripped of several rights including the right to work, education, and the right to choose their attire among many others and a repeat of this was seen this year as well.

Here’s how Afghan women reacted to the Taliban’s hijab diktat