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As Iran protests enter sixth week, women take to Afghanistan's streets

Some of the largest protests led by women started after a Sept. 30 suicide attack on an educational center in Kabul in which 53 Hazara girls were killed.
Afghan women hold placards as they take part in a protest in front of the Iranian Embassy in Kabul on Sept. 29, 2022.

As women-led protests spread across Iran after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in police custody for violating hijab laws, women in neighboring Afghanistan have also been taking to the streets.

Iran's protests quickly turned bloody, with the death toll (including security forces) currently at around 200. Though large protests have happened before, this time the tempo is more sustained and anti-regime demonstrations have spread to religious centers like Qom and Mashhad as well. While the Afghan protests are notably smaller in size and have mostly included Hazara women, they have continued apace for several weeks and university students have gotten involved. The Hazara are an ethnic minority group in Afghanistan who practice Shiite Islam and have faced ongoing discrimination from the Sunni Taliban regime.

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