Sept 15 (Reuters) – Afghan youth rights activist Wazhma Sayle states she was shocked to see a photograph online, seemingly of women of all ages dressed in black all-enveloping niqabs and gowns, staging a demonstration in aid of the country’s new Taliban rulers at Kabul College.

The 36-yr-aged, who is based mostly in Sweden, afterwards posted a photograph of herself on Twitter dressed in a bright eco-friendly and silver gown captioned: “This is Afghan lifestyle & how we dress! Anything considerably less then this does not depict Afghan females!”

“It really is a fight for our id,” Sayle explained in a telephone interview. “I don’t want to be discovered the way Taliban showed me, I can’t tolerate that. These dresses, when I use them, converse for where by I occur from.”

Other Afghan girls overseas have posted similar pics, hanging a chord in Kabul.

“At the very least they are equipped to notify the planet that we, the ladies of Afghanistan, do not assistance the Taliban,” reported Fatima, a 22-year-previous in the Afghan cash. “I cannot post this sort of shots or use these variety of clothing right here anymore. If I did, the Taliban would eliminate me.”

Quite a few ladies reported they thought the purported protest, which has appeared on social media and in Western media, was staged and that several men and women dressed in the head-to-toe black burqa gowns had been adult men. Reuters has not verified the authenticity of the shots.

“It is excellent our gals (abroad) had been capable to protest about it,” explained Khatima, a different youthful woman in Kabul. “The truth is, the burqa is not representative of gals in Afghanistan.”

When the Taliban was in power two a long time ago, gals experienced to go over by themselves from head to toe. Those people who broke the guidelines sometimes suffered humiliation and general public beatings by the Taliban’s spiritual police.

A woman poses in standard Afghan apparel, in Stockholm, Sweden, March 21, 2021, in this picture attained from social media. Wazhma Sayle/by means of REUTERS THIS Impression HAS BEEN Equipped BY A 3rd Social gathering. Required Credit history. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.

Even though the new Taliban regime has promised to allow for women of all ages far more freedoms, there have been reports of females getting barred from likely to do the job, and some remaining beaten in current months for protesting Taliban rule.

Universities have installed curtains inside of school rooms to segregate gentlemen and females.

The on-line marketing campaign with hashtags these types of as #DoNotTouchMyClothes and #AfghanistanCulture commenced when U.S.-based mostly Afghan historian Bahar Jalali tweeted to criticise the black garments worn by the college demonstrators.

“No female has ever dressed like this in the history of Afghanistan. This is utterly foreign and alien to Afghan culture,” she stated.

Jalali then posted a photograph of herself in a green costume with the caption, “This is Afghan society,” and urged other folks to put up much too. Dozens of women of all ages did.

“We really do not want the Taliban to dictate what Afghan women are,” stated Lema Afzal, a 25-calendar year-old Afghan scholar in Belgium.

Afzal, born in Afghanistan below the very first Taliban rule that lasted from 1996 to 2001, explained she was horrified when she saw the photograph of the black-clad demonstrators.

Her mother had worn the prolonged blue burqa gowns compelled upon gals at the time and found it hard to breathe or see from underneath them, she said.

“The photo created me anxious that record is repeating alone. My mom’s family members did not include their heads at all in the 70s and 80s, when it was extravagant to be carrying mini skirts in Afghanistan.”

Reporting by Zeba Siddiqui in NEW DELHI Additonal reporting by Natalia Oriol Modifying by Raju Gopalakrishnan

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