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Bajrang Punia Urges The World to Speak Up For Women in Afghanistan

Bajrang Punia won a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

Bajrang Punia won a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia said the world needs to step up for the women in Afghanisthan.

The United States pullout from Afghanistan followed a Taliban takeover. The extremist group recently formed an acting government in the country on Tuesday, September 7. Despite promising to be liberal, they were back to their old restrictive policies. Especially, against women, who are the worst-affected in the war-ravaged nation. From a strict dress code to denial of equal rights as their male counterparts, the situation has changed immensely for Afghan women since the political system overhaul.

Ever since their forced take over, the acting administration has made a big decision regarding banning sports for women. Notably, the Taliban officials have lent their support to sports for men but are against women taking part in such activities. Recently, reports of Afghan women being denied the opportunity to participate in sporting activities has drawn sharp reactions across the world. The Taliban considers sports for women is against the teachings of Islam.

“I don’t think women will be allowed to play cricket because it is not necessary that women should play cricket,” Ahmadullah Wasiq, the deputy head of the Taliban’s cultural commission, said in an interview to SBS. He also cited that in cricket, they (women) may face a situation where their face or body may not be covered and “Islam does not allow women to be seen like this”.

Meanwhile, their restrictive measures drew sharp criticism from across the world. Adding support, Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia criticised the Taliban’s prejudiced behaviour towards women and urged the world to come together and speak for them.


“It’s time that the entire world should come together and speak for them. The world is moving ahead where women are equal to men, so we need to ensure this does not happen to women in Afghanistan,” the Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist told Times Now. “The entire world needs to speak in unison for them," he added.

The move has also put the country’s cricketing situation in a spot. Cricket Australia, which is scheduled to host Afghanistan in a historic Test match later this year, has also voiced a strong reaction against Taliban’s decision of banning women from sporting activities. The Australian cricket administration is looking to cancel its maiden Test match against the Asian country’s men’s team amid the reports of Taliban’s new rules.

It must be noted that before the takeover, the Afghanistan Cricket Board was all set to unveil its national women’s team but those plans now look shelved.


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first published:September 10, 2021, 17:40 IST