Other Afghan women responded by posting pictures of themselves in bright and colorful traditional Afghan dresses — a stark contrast to the black hijab mandate outlined by the Taliban.
Bahar Jalali, a former faculty member of the American University of Afghanistan according to her LinkedIn, helped kick off the picture posting campaign, according to other women who shared photos on Twitter.
Other Afghan women soon followed her lead on social media.
Shekiba Teimori, an Afghan singer and activist who fled Kabul last month, told CNN that the “hijab existed before Kabul’s fall. We could see Hijabi women, but this was based on family decisions and not the government.”
She said that before the Taliban came to Afghanistan, her ancestors were “wearing the same colorful Afghan dresses you see in my pictures.”
The fate of women in Afghanistan has been a major source of concern ever since the Taliban took swift control of the country following the chaotic withdrawal of US and international troops in August.
The Taliban, who ruled over Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001 but were forced from power after a US-led invasion, have historically treated women as second-class citizens, subjecting them to violence, forced marriages and a near-invisible presence in the country.