British-Afghan women go on hunger strike outside Parliament against Taliban rule

Protesters say they want to give voice to people in Afghanistan who have been robbed of theirs

Three Afghan women have been on hunger strike since Thursday in protest against the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and have kept a vigil in Parliament Square, London. PA
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Three British-Afghan women who went on hunger strike on Thursday say they plan to continue until the government intervenes in Afghanistan.

Their protest is taking place directly opposite the Houses of Parliament and they wish to “raise the voices” of women suffering under Taliban rule.

The women, who do not want to be named, say they “feel the pain” of those still living in Afghanistan who have had “everything taken away”.

On Sunday, the women entered their fourth day without food, but have been visited by a doctor since they began their demonstration of solidarity.

All of the women have children. They said they had taken time off work and had to find childcare before staging the protest.

One of the women, who has three children aged 22, 18 and 11, said she hoped future generations would continue the fight for better conditions in Afghanistan.

“This is a very urgent moment, it is an emergency,” she told the PA news agency.

“For women in Afghanistan, we want to raise their voice, we want to stand for them because women are fundamental to everybody’s lives.

“If we stand up for this now, then hopefully the next generation will continue to improve [the situation].”

The second woman, who has four children, the youngest of whom is three years old, said: “The reason we are here is to be the voice of those who have been silenced by guns, by being tortured and having their human rights taken away.

“We have taken these steps and this action in order to teach the next generation to support and stop this proxy war and terrorism.

“It will affect not only Afghanistan but slowly, slowly, the neighbouring countries and all of the world,” she said.

Hundreds of protesters gathered nearby in Trafalgar Square on Sunday, also in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan.

The third woman, who has four children aged 18, 16, 10 and eight, said “Our families are supporting us because we are feeling that pain, they don’t have a voice.

“What can we do? We are all people and we need to help each other.”

Updated: September 12, 2021, 9:52 PM