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Alliance bans women’s march in Afghanistan

A planned women's freedom march through the streets of Kabul on Tuesday was banned on the orders of Northern Alliance interior minister Younis Qanooni
Alliance bans women's march in Afghanistan

KABUL: A planned women's freedom march through
the streets of Kabul on Tuesday was banned on the
orders of Northern Alliance interior minister Younis
Qanooni, organiser Soraya Parlika said.

"They said it was for security but that is just a pretext...they
don't want women to improve," she said.

Parlika said Qanooni personally rang her two days ago,
before leaving for the Afghan talks outside Bonn, Germany,
and said the march was not to go ahead. "He said we should
wait for an unspecified time."

As women began gathering at her home early Tuesday,
hopeful the decision would be reversed, Parlika received a
follow-up call from an interior ministry official again refusing
the march.

It was the second time in a week the women had been
refused permission to walk from Parlika's suburban home to
the main United Nations compound, with security given as
the reason both times.

"I don't believe that. There would not be a problem, we
have no need for security," Parlika said.

About 50 members of the newly formed Union of Women in
Afghanistan were packed into her apartment, many of them
wearing light head-scarves instead of the much-hated burqa,
which women were forced to wear after the Taliban
captured Kabul in 1996.

They were among the first to show their faces outdoors in
the capital after the Northern Alliance retook the city on
November 13.

Although the Northern Alliance, not as hardline as the
Taliban, has told women they were free, it was received with
scepticism.

"They announced that women are free, but it is not freedom
to throw off our veils. That is not the liberty we want," said a
disappointed Nafeesa, 17. "Right now the situation in Kabul
is not good. It is not what we wanted."

Perlika says women still have a long way to go before they
can be classed equal citizens. "Our victory, and only that, is
that I am able to welcome you into my home," she says.
( AFP )

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=979404185