Afghan Men Wear Burqas to support International Women’s Day 2015

A small group of Afghan men wearing sky-blue burqas marched through Kabul earlier today to draw attention to women’s rights in the country.The group of roughly 20 men walked through the capital of Afghanistan to draw attention to the rights of women ahead of international Women’s Day on 8 March.

The men holding a sign for womens rights in Kabul

With muddy trainers just visible beneath the burqas, an item of clothing that became synonymous with oppressive Taliban rule in the 1990s, the march drew some attention from onlookers.

“What is the point of this?” Asked traffic policeman Javed Haidari, 24. “All of the women in my family wear burqas. I wouldn’t let them go out without one.”

But 29-year-old activist Basir, who goes by one name, claims the march – organised by a group called Afghan Peace Volunteers – takes women’s rights “to the streets.”“One of the best ways to understand how women feel is to walk around and wear a burqa,” he claimed.

Other men on the march said that wearing the item of clothing, which covers individuals from head-to-foot with a small mesh ‘window’ over the face, felt “like a prison”.

They carried signs reading: “equality” and “Don’t tell women what to wear, you should cover your eyes,” a Reuterscorrespondent reported.

“Today’s protest against the burqa is a western move,” one male onlooker told an ITN reporter. “The women should not be deceived by this move because Islam gives women the best rights.”

The men holding a sign for womens rights in KabulDespite being a symbol of the Taliban, the use of the burqa remains common in much of Afghanistan, especially in rural areas where human rights organisations report that women are still under increased threat of violence and abuse.

Human Rights Watch claim that many opponents of female rights are using waning international interest in the country to undo much of the progress made following the fall of the Taliban.

Full story in The Independent HERE.