Rare fashion show in Kabul designed to empower Afghanistan women
By Amir Shah and Kim Gamel, APKABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghan models paraded down a candle-lined catwalk Friday as men and women watched from the audience in a restaurant off a muddy street in Kabul.
February 10, 2013, 12:32 am TWN
The rare fashion show in this war-weary capital was a small production but a big idea — part of an Afghan group's efforts to empower women by breaking down barriers in this highly conservative Muslim society.
“The situation always gets tougher and tougher every day by day, but we should not back down. We are here to move on and move forward, so I think if women step up and they show up in this field, I think they will do a good job,” said Shahar Banoo Zeerak, the designer whose clothes were featured in the show.
The idea of women on display remains mostly taboo in Afghanistan more than a decade after the 2001 U.S. assault that ousted the Taliban from power after a five-year reign of terror by the fundamentalist movement.
Some women still don't go outside without wearing blue burqas that cover them from head to toe. Violence against women is still common in Afghanistan, and there are reports of women being stoned, executed in public or imprisoned for having affairs with men. Women have even set themselves on fire to escape domestic violence.