Photo essay: A glimpse into the lives of Afghan women – UN Women

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Women’s rights activist, author and poet Shabnam says her dreams may have been shattered, but not her will.

“I didn’t accept defeat. I, alongside other courageous women, raised our voices to protest the injustices of the Taliban. We went to the streets to protest, despite all the challenges and lack of support, both domestically and internationally. The Taliban hadn’t expected such courage from women. It wasn’t until they realized that we posed a significant threat to their regime, that they attempted to suppress us. …

“[A] Taliban intelligence group raided my house in the middle of the night, and on that night, my [husband was beaten in front of my] two young children, and my other family members faced the worst possible treatment by the Taliban, leaving eternal trauma etched on their souls and minds. After that night, I had no way to return home, and I was in hiding in my own land, seeking my rights. … Despite all these difficulties, I won’t stop.”

These stories and images capture the hardships that so many Afghan women are experiencing, but they also bring hope in their remarkable strength and resilience, as they find their own unique ways to resist.

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