#DoNotTouchMyClothes trends online as Afghan women protest against the Taliban’s female dress code

“Our traditional clothes have always been bright and colorful, never the black niqab.”

Shanzay Salman

Shanzay Salman

Features Editor

Afghan women around the world are posting pictures of themselves dressed up in traditional clothing accompanied by the hashtag #DoNotTouchMyClothes, to protest against the  female dress code being imposed on them by the Taliban. The hashtag #DoNotTouchMyClothes has been trending online as Afghan women from different parts of the globe raise their voice.

The campaign is a response to the new dress code introduced by the Taliban for female students in Afghanistan, as the Taliban have recently said that Afghan universities will be segregated by gender, and a new dress code will be introduced.

Many women have protested against the new development saying that while they support the freedom of exercising one’s own right to wear what they desire, including the niqaab, they also believe that dressing in black from head to toe is not Afghan culture, sharing pictures of colorful traditional dresses worn by Afghan women. “I always support women’s choice of attire, what I will never support is women being oppressed into a culture that isn’t theirs to begin with. Our traditional clothes have always been bright and colourful, never the black niqab”, wrote Leena Derwish.

The new policy is significantly different from accepted practice before the Taliban takeover where female students did not have to abide by a dress code, and universities were co-educational. Afghan women from around the world  are collectively raising their voice to reclaim their rights.

Posting old pictures representing the Afghanistan they have witnessed, in attempts to gain ‘visibility and strength’ for Afghan women.

With the #DoNotTouchMyClothes, Afghan women are trying to tell the Taliban and the rest of the world that the new dress code, does not represent Afghanistan’s women, Afghanistan’s culture or Afghanistan as a country on the whole! Leave us your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!