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28 September 2021

Business Insider Bangladesh

Afghan women hit back at Taliban with #DoNotTouchMyClothes campaign

BI Desk || BusinessInsider

Published: 13:56, 14 September 2021  
Afghan women hit back at Taliban with #DoNotTouchMyClothes campaign

Dr Bahar Jalali

Afghan women have started an online campaign to protest against the Taliban's strict new dress code for female students.

Using hashtags like #DoNotTouchMyClothes and #AfghanistanCulture, many are sharing pictures of their colourful traditional dresses, reports BBC.

The BBC's Sodaba Haidare spoke to the woman who sparked this social media fightback.

Type "Afghan traditional clothes" into Google and you will be overwhelmed at the sight of multi-coloured cultural dresses.

Each one is unique, with handmade embroidery and heavy designs, small mirrors placed carefully around the chest, skirts long and pleated, perfect for twirling during "Attan" or Afghanistan's national dance.

Some women sport embroidered hats, others wear heavy headpieces, depending on which region of Afghanistan they come from.

A scaled-back version of similar dresses was worn every day by women going to university or their place of work in the past 20 years. Sometimes the trousers were replaced by jeans and the scarves were draped on their heads instead of over the shoulders.

But the pictures of women in long, fully veiled black abayas, covering their faces and hands, and rallying in Kabul over the weekend to support the "Taliban order" have been a huge contrast.

In one video, the women holding a pro-Taliban rally in the capital were seen saying Afghan women wearing make-up and in modern clothes "do not represent the Muslim Afghan woman" and "we don't want women's rights that are foreign and at odds with sharia" - referring to the strict version of Islamic law supported by the Taliban.