Afghanistan Womens Rights

Taliban Leader: Afghan Women’s Rights “have been fully secured” despite ongoing gender apartheid 

Mullah Hibatullah, the Taliban’s leader, said in a recent statement that women’s rights in Afghanistan “have been fully secured.” The Taliban leader who has never been seen in public or by any official except Taliban members, claimed that women have been given their full rights under Sharia. 

It is unclear which standards the Taliban is using to assess the status of Afghan girls and women’s rights. The pervasive systemic discrimination against women through the release of over 100 edicts issued nationally and sub-nationally would suggest otherwise. According to Tahira Nasiri, a women’s rights activist, not only are women deprived of their basic rights such as work and education, “but women have also faced forced and early marriages, murder, detention, and suppression for over two years.”

By educational standards, Afghanistan is the only country in the world where girls cannot seek an education after elementary school. In fact, Afghan culture and Islam both value the importance of women’s education. In terms of employment, women are prohibited from working in all sectors, including with local and international humanitarian organizations. As a result, women who were once the primary breadwinners are now unable to feed their families. 

Over the past two and a half years, we have been witness to gender apartheid policies that relegate women to a subhuman status. Women have been essentially erased from public life and are prohibited from any social and cultural contributions. 

A recording released on Wednesday at a religious scholars’ meeting in Kandahar, however,  conveys a different interpretation. Hibatullah says in this recording that women’s rights have been “guaranteed in all areas” under their rule. He refers to the orders he issued in areas such as inheritance rights, prevention of forced marriages and providing a dowry for women but none of those have been implemented and the order issued were more advisory. Hibatullah, leader of the de facto authorities, suggested that these rights are “better secured” than in previous governments.

Gender apartheid must be officially recognized as the situation in Afghanistan, regardless of the Taliban’s empty promises for women’s rights.

Source: social media, Khaam Press.

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