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Ready to wear burqas but let us go to school and work, women tell Taliban

Dozens of protesters gathered outside the presidential palace in Kabul, calling on the Taliban to uphold women's rights.

Friday was a day of unprecedented scenes on the streets of Kabul. Taliban were seen  putting posters and banners across the capital city informing residents about the arrival of  top leaders  who were getting set to form a new government. Ahmadullah Muttaqi, the chief of the multimedia branch cultural commission of Afghanistan shared some pictures of hoardings and banners showing slogans written on walls and posters providing information regarding the Taliban’s government  formation. 

"All the top leaders arrived in Kabul," one Taliban official told Reuters.

While all the top leaders are in Kabul, about 50 women came out on the street lofting placards  that slammed the  Taliban’s  restrictions on their right to work and seek education. In a rare protest, that too in front of the Taliban, these Afghan women were demanding their rights be respected under Taliban rule.

Some protesters  raised slogans urging the group to establish "a heroic Cabinet with the presence of women."

In a video clip, women chanted slogans "It is our right to have education, work and security.”

In another video, shared by the TOLO news, Taliban fighters were shown beating protesters.

The Taliban, who seized power last month after a lightning military campaign, are going to announce a new government. Though They have pledged their government will be "inclusive", many doubt women will find a place in Afghanistan's new administration, and a senior leader of the group has already said in an interview with BBC News that women won't get any place in the Taliban cabinet.

Sher Mohammed Abbas Stanikzai, the spokesman of the Taliban, who is set to be in the cabinet,  said that women who served in the former US-backed government will not be included in the new administration. He insisted that  it will be an "inclusive" government but gave no details.

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On Thursday, women protestors took to the street in Herat and called for the “preservation” of the past two decades' achievements.

"We are even ready to wear burqas if they tell us, but we want the women to go to school and work," one protester told CBS news.

“We follow the news, and we don't see any women in Taliban meetings and gatherings," said another woman.

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The United Nations and European Union, among others, have called on the Taliban to include women in their government and respect their rights.

During their previous regime, the Taliban enforced an extreme interpretation of sharia law forcing women to wear burqas, shuttering schools and beating those who went out in public unaccompanied.

But this time, the Taliban has officially pledged to respect women’s rights, “within the frameworks of  Sharia and Islam.”