A group of Afghan women are staging a hunger strike in Cologne to protest against “gender apartheid” in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, one of them told AFP on Monday.
“Today the women of Afghanistan don’t have school, university, cars, restaurants, everything is banned,” Zarmina Paryani told AFP.
The activist is one of five sisters who fled to Germany in 2022 after being arrested by the Taliban for protesting in Afghanistan.
Another of the sisters, Tamana Paryani, is also taking part in the strike, which is due to last for 12 days.
Tamana Paryani posted a picture on X, formerly known as Twitter, showing a banner reading “Afghanistan should be recognised as a country where gender apartheid exists”.
The Taliban “arrest, torture and kill political and human rights activists every day… but the world is silent”, Zarmina Paryani said.
Sixteen women began the strike in the major city in western Germany four days ago, but there were only three remaining on Monday, she said.
Since returning to power in August 2021, Taliban authorities have imposed a strict interpretation of Islam, with women bearing the brunt of laws the United Nations has labelled “gender apartheid”.
Women and girls have been banned from attending high school and university as well as barred from visiting parks, fairs and gymnasiums.
They have also mostly been blocked from working for UN agencies or NGOs, with thousands sacked from government jobs or paid to stay at home.