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Women gather to demand their rights under Taliban rule during a protest in Kabul, Afghanistan on September 3, 2021. © 2021 Wali Sabawoon/AP Images ©

In the first Taliban news conference after the group regained control of the Afghan capital, Kabul, Taliban spokesperson, Zabiullah Mujahid sought to reassure women. “Our sisters, our men have the same rights,” he said. But Afghan women know the Taliban’s history all too well. When they were previously in power from 1996 to 2001, they banned most education for women and girls and confined women to their homes unless a male family member was with them, denying them access to most jobs — or even freedom to leave their house for a walk.

The weeks since August 15, when Kabul fell to the Taliban, have been a steady stream of bad news for women and girls. Almost every day brings further evidence that they are implementing a massive rollback of women’s rights. But Afghan women are fighting back—taking to the steets and protesting, even in the face of violence from the Taliban and attempts to ban protest. Human Rights Watch stands with Afghan women and is keeping a list of Taliban policies that violate women’s rights. Check back regularly for updates.

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