Afghan Artist Kubra Khademi, Who Staged an Anti Sexual Harassment Performance in Kabul, Receives Death Threats

Kubra Khademi shows her armorPhoto via: Stripes
Kubra Khademi shows her armor
Photo via: Stripes

Kubra Khademi, the 27-year-old Afghan artist who carried out a public performance in the streets of Kabul to protest against sexual harassment of women in Afghanistan, has gone into hiding after receiving death threats, AFP reports.

The protest took place on February 26, when Khademi donned a custom-made armour featuring large breasts and buttocks and walked around central Kabul. The artist sought to raise awareness to the all-too-common problem of women being groped in public spaces in Afghanistan. But Khademi soon found herself verbally harassed and pushed, and was forced to flee in a taxi as stones were hurled at her.

“This piece is about what happened to me when I was four or five years old,” she told AFP. “Somebody touched me and then he just walked away. I was feeling guilty. Why did it happen to me? It was my fault. And I said: ‘I wish my underwear were made of iron’,” she explained, adding: “These things happen daily, every moment, every hour in my city.” Khademi is now hiding in the suburbs of Kabul, after having received insults and death threats.

A few days after Khademi’s performance, a 29-year-old male activist named Basir joined her efforts by wearing a burqa in solidarity with women, to protest against their oppression.

“We wanted to tell officials that the miseries of Afghan women cannot be felt by marking Women’s Day in big halls with empty speeches,” Basir said. “In order to feel them, you have to put yourself in their shoes, come out on the streets with burqas on, […] to really experience as a human being how a woman feels under a burqa.”


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