Press release no. 6 – 13 June 2023
Women workers, lawyers, trade union activists, politicians and community activists took part in the five lectures given by our friend Hasina Sadet, an activist with the Spontaneous Movement of Afghan Women, during the first European tour organised by the International Committee for the Defence of Afghan Women, from 5 to 9 June.
In Metz (France), Brussels and Liège (Belgium), Erfurt and Berlin (Germany), our friend Hasina Sadet recalled that “the Spontaneous Movement of Afghan Women was created in Kabul on 22 September 2021, after the Taliban took over power in August 2021. It is an independent movement that is not linked to any political party and brings together democrats, nationalists, intellectuals, feminists, secularists, and members of civil society, journalists, teachers, students and housewives“.
She explained: “Present in Kabul and in many provinces, the movement operates in extremely difficult conditions: the Taliban regime reinstated by the US administration has eliminated all democratic freedoms and increased the number of measures excluding women from social life (education, employment, NGOs, public places, etc.). The Taliban regime has banned access to school for girls after the sixth form. One of the movement’s demands is therefore the reopening of all schools, universities and educational centres for girls. At the same time, it has organised a network of clandestine schools to take in girls who have been driven out of school: these are dozens of secret educational centres that enable several hundred girls to receive a free education, given by volunteer female teachers“.
As well as clandestine activities and meetings, the movement has also organised public events, such as demonstrations and rallies, in particular for the reopening of schools and universities to women. It has seized every opportunity to do so: 8 March, May Day, etc. But Hasina Sadet also pointed out that “because the ‘international community’ had failed to react seriously to the Taliban, in 2023 the latter were able to prevent demonstrations by resorting to repression, murder, imprisonment and torture. The Taliban killed dozens of women and imprisoned hundreds of demonstrators. Most of the families have been threatened with death, so that they will not speak to the media or human rights organisations“.
The Spontaneous Movement of Afghan Women, she explained, has therefore opened clandestine “houses of protection” to house threatened women activists. Hence the importance of the campaign being waged in several European countries to demand that the authorities in those countries immediately and unconditionally take in all women and activists under threat.
Hasina Sadet also highlighted the fact that every week the Taliban regime receives 45 million dollars from the US administration, under the guise of “humanitarian aid”. However, she explained, “this aid does not reach the women who need it, and only strengthens the misogynist Taliban regime: it is a real betrayal of the interests of the women of Afghanistan. It is therefore necessary to build and strengthen independent organisations, such as the International Committee for the Defence of Afghan Women and the Spontaneous Movement of Afghan Women “.
We would like to thank the organisers, activists, trade unionists and lawyers who welcomed Hasina Sadet, as well as the Maison de la Famille Willy Peers in Brussels and the Ver.di trade union section at the Free University of Berlin.
In anticipation of the next tour of Afghan women activists, in each of her conferences, Hasina Sadet has launched an appeal to strengthen the International Committee for the Defence of Afghan Women, to continue the campaign for unconditional asylum for threatened women activists and to financially support the organisation, in Afghanistan, of “protection houses” for women and clandestine schools for young girls.
We need your financial support!
The two tours by Afghan women activists in Europe are entirely self-financed. You can now make your contribution to the International Committee :
– by Bank Transfer to the account “Comité international de défense des femmes afghanes” BIC/SWIFT: CMCIFR2A; IBAN: FR76 1027 8060 5000 0213 5650 174
– by cheque (for France) to be sent to Comité international de défense des femmes afghanes, 67, avenue Faidherbe, 93100 Montreuil.
Spread the word about the International Committee for the Defence of Afghan Women …
and its website to extend the campaign of solidarity : https://defendafghanwomen.org/
Save the dates :
The next European tour will be led by Ranna Amani, an activist with the Spontaneous Movement of Afghan Women: in Lisbon (Portugal) on Monday 26 June; in Bilbao (Spain) on Tuesday 27 June; in Marseille (France) on Wednesday 28 June; in Turin (Italy) on Thursday 29 June and in Geneva (Switzerland) on Friday 30 June.