Several dozen women have taken to the streets of the Afghan capital to demand the right to education, jobs, and political representation from the Taliban-installed government.
As they marched through Kabul amid bitter cold conditions on December 16, the protesters chanted slogans calling for food, careers, and freedom, and held banners demanding women get political posts.
Some of them carried placards calling on the international community to restore aid to their country as it teeters on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe with rising poverty, a lack of food, and a collapsing economy.
Reports said the rally was not disrupted by the Taliban, which banned unsanctioned rallies after taking over the war-torn country in mid-August.
For weeks, the women staged almost daily demonstrations to demand their rights, representation in government, and roles in the deeply religious and conservative country, but following a violent Taliban crackdown on protests, such street rallies waned.
The hard-line Islamist group has pledged a softer rule after they overthrew the internationally backed government, compared with their first stint in power in the 1990s.
However, the vast majority of women have been banned from working, while many girls and women have been deprived of the right to an education.
The international community has refused to recognize Afghanistan’s new rulers. Key global donors have blocked most of their aid to the country, and reserves of the Afghan central bank held abroad were also frozen.
Last week, the World Bank said donors approved the transfer of $280 million from a frozen trust fund to two aid agencies to help Afghanistan respond to its humanitarian crisis, while the United States formalized guidance allowing personal remittances to flow to Afghanistan.