This Is What Happened To The Afghan Woman Who Donned ‘Iron Underwear’ To Counter Street Harassment

Kubra Khademi braved the streets of Kabul in ‘iron underwear’ armor to counter sexual harassment – and this is what happened next.

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An Afghan woman was pelted with stones after she took to the streets of Kabul in "iron underwear" to protest against the sexual violence and harassment faced by females in the war-torn country.

However, her situation went from bad to worse in the days following her stunt after she reportedly received death threats. She has now gone into hiding.

Kubra Khademi, a 27-year-old street artist, stated the unusual social experiment was inspired by her own experiences from more than 20 years ago when she was first molested by a stranger on the street – when she was only 5 years old

“First of all I questioned my identity and sexuality and everything I was feeling,” she told BBC in an interview. “It was like something was dead. What I remember of that day is only one sentence I said at that moment: ‘I wish my underwear was made of iron.’”

The video of her stunt went viral as the world celebrated International Women’s Day.

Also Read: Afghanistan’s First Female Police Chief Does Not Fear The Taliban

It’s often stated that the conditions for Afghan women are (much) better now in comparison to their situation under the Taliban regime.

However, this statement could just be a myth, because violent crime against women in Afghanistan hit record levels and became increasingly brutal in 2013, according to the head of the country’s human rights commission.

"The brutality of the cases is really bad. Cutting the nose, lips and ears. Committing public rape," Sima Samar, chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission told Reuters. "Mass rape... It's against dignity, against humanity."

A Human Rights Watch  report released last June revealed that in 2013 alone, at least 95 percent of the women imprisoned and 50 percent of girls were accused of zina, sexual relations between two people outside of wedlock. 

Also Read: UN Decries "Slow, Uneven" Use Of Law Protecting Afghan Women