• Sunday, Oct 17, 2021
  • Last Update : 05:14 pm

Social media campaign highlights colorful Afghan clothing to protest Taliban dress code

  • Published at 01:13 pm September 26th, 2021
Afghan dress
Bahar Jalali, an Afghan-American academic, wears an Afghan traditional dress in her home in Glenwood, Maryland, September 24, 2021 AFP

Women's rights in Afghanistan were sharply curtailed under the Taliban's 1996-2001 stint in control, but since returning to power last month, they have claimed they will implement a less extreme rule

After seeing photos of black-clad Afghan women in full face veils at a pro-Taliban rally in Kabul, Bahar Jalali, an Afghan-American historian, launched a campaign highlighting the vibrant colors of traditional Afghan dresses.

"I was very concerned that the world would think that those clothing worn by those women in Kabul was traditional Afghan clothing, and I don't want our heritage and culture to be misrepresented," said Jalali, who lives in Glenwood, Maryland, about an hour's drive from Washington.

Jalali, 56, created the social media hashtags #DoNotTouchMyClothes and #AfghanistanCulture, which quickly became popular, with women posting photos of themselves wearing colorful, embroidered Afghan clothing and smiling for the camera.

"Afghan women don't wear hijab," Jalali told AFP. 


Also Read - 'This is our homeland': Women plead for basic rights in Afghanistan


"We wear a loose chiffon headscarf that reveals the hair. And anybody who's familiar with Afghanistan history, culture, knows that the clothing worn by those women have never been seen before in Afghanistan," she said, referring to demonstrators at the pro-Taliban protest at a university lecture in Kabul earlier this month.

About 300 women -- covered head-to-toe in all black in accordance with strict new dress policies for women in education under the Taliban -- waved Taliban flags, as speakers railed against the West and expressed support for the hardline Islamists.

"Afghan women don't dress that way. Afghan women wear the colorful dresses that we showed the world."

Women's rights in Afghanistan were sharply curtailed under the Taliban's 1996-2001 stint in control, but since returning to power last month, they have claimed they will implement a less extreme rule.

Women will be allowed to attend university, as long as classes are segregated by sex or at least divided by a curtain, and women must wear an abaya robe and niqab, which cover the whole body and face, save for a slit for the eyes.

Jalali moved to the United States when she was seven. 


Also Read - UN rights chief: Taliban's treatment of women a red line


She remembers Afghanistan under secular rule, with some women wearing short skirts and sleeveless dresses on the streets of Kabul, while others choosing to wear headscarves.

In 2009, Jalali returned to Afghanistan to teach history and gender studies at the American University in Kabul, in what was the country's first gender studies program. 

After 8.5 years there, she returned to the United States and now teaches Middle Eastern history at Loyola University Maryland.

"My students were very passionate about gender equality, male and female students," she recalled. 

"So I really can't imagine how this new generation of Afghanistan that has never witnessed Taliban rule, that has grown up in a free and open society, is going to be able to adjust to this dark period that Afghanistan has now entered."

     


51
Facebook 51
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail