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A year after the Taliban's takeover, Afghanistan has become 'a cage for Afghan women,' activist and VOICE country lead Yalda Royan says in an interview with Business Insider.

Taliban fighters fired into the air as they dispersed a rare rally by women as they chanted "Bread, work and freedom" and marched in front of the education ministry building, days ahead of the first anniversary of the hardline Islamists' return to power, on August 13, 2022 in Kabul, Afghanistan. 
Nava Jamshidi/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider, August 15, 2022

A year ago, Yalda Royan lost everything: "my country, my home, my job, my people," she told Insider.

A women's rights activist, she was living in Kabul with her two daughters when Taliban militants entered the city. By that point, Afghanistan's political leaders had already fled the capital.

Former President Ashraf Ghani now lives in an undisclosed, gulf state villa. Royan lives in an apartment in Virginia, evacuated from the Afghan capital amid gunfire and terroristic violence, a "horrifying" and "undignified" exodus from life as she knew it.

In exile, Royan continues to fight for the country she left behind as the country team lead for the feminist organization VOICE Amplified. She is also a founding member of the Afghan Women's Advocacy Group who, in June, spoke before the United Nations' Security Council, blasting "the negligence of the international community" in the face of Afghanistan's new, misogynistic leadership, where despite early promises, young women and girls are still barred from receiving an education.

In an interview with Insider, Royan reflected on the year since the US withdrawal and the Taliban conquest of Afghanistan — and what she sees as the international community's complicity.

Read the Full Interview Here