Women-only internet cafe opens in Kabul

 

Afghanistan opened its first women-only internet cafe yesterday, hoping to give women a chance to connect to the world without verbal and sexual harassment and free from the unwanted gazes of their countrymen.

Swarms of hijab-wearing young visitors poured into the small cafe on a quiet street in central Kabul on International Women’s Day in a country where women still face enormous struggles even though the Taliban were toppled over a decade ago.

“We wanted women to not be afraid, to create a safe place for women to use the internet,” said Aqlima Moradi, a 25-year-old medical student and member of Afghan activist group YoungWomen4Change, which set up the cafe. The modest cafe was named after Sahar Gul, a 15-year-old Afghan girl who was brutally tortured last year by her in-laws for refusing to become a prostitute.

“There are a lot of Sahar Guls in Afghanistan. There are women every day facing violence,” said Mohammad Jawad Alizada (29) from the group’s male advocacy wing, who oversaw the cafe’s creation.

– (Reuters)