Since August 2021 when the Taliban conquered Afghanistan and formed a de facto government, the living situation of women and girls in the country has been particularly precarious. They are increasingly being pushed out of public life and into the private sphere and are subjected to ever-stricter rules. Afghan women are thus fighting for their human rights, including the right to education, freedom of movement, and economic security. The Taliban takeover affects Afghan women in the country as much as those who have moved themselves and their families into exile and safety.

The young women protestors in Afghanistan and in exile who are standing up today for law and justice, for democracy and freedom, are the daughters of the generation of women who sustained schools, health, and civil society in general at the risk of their own lives during the first Taliban era. With great courage, these women are raising their voices.

On 3 October 2022, the Second President of the National Council, Doris Bures, Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation (VIDC), and Women without Borders (WwB), hosted the event ‘Afghanistan’s Strong Women: One year of resistance against Taliban rule’ last night in the Austrian Parliament.

Moderated by WwB’s Dr Edit Schlaffer and VIDC’s Michael Fanizadeh, the event, which was also live streamed and can be found here, featured voices from the ground in Afghanistan and from those who are currently in exile.

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