Representatives of Afghanistan’s fundamentalist Islamic Taliban militia have increased their efforts to gain U.S. recognition. The Taliban’s designated ambassador to the United Nations, Abdul Hakeem Mujahid, recently met with State Department officials and members of the House and Senate staffs. So far, only Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have recognized the Taliban. Other countries have failed to do so because of concerns about the Taliban’s treatment of women.
Since the Taliban conquered the capital city of Kabul last September, it has imposed a strict form of Islam which forbids women from working, attending school, or appearing in public unaccompanied by a male relative. Before the takeover, women comprised roughly 50 percent of Afghanistan’s university students and 40 percent of its doctors.