A group of women held a street protest calling on the Taliban to protect their rights, in Kabul.
During last five years of rule, the group was condemned internationally for enforcing a medieval version of Islamic law, which included punishments such as public hangings, whippings and stoning’s. The group had banned music, cut off the hands of suspected thieves, and stoned to death those who were convicted of adultery.
But it was the restrictions on women that caused the most outrage and misery. Under the Taliban’s interpretation of Sharia law during the 1990s, women and girls could not work, gain an education, or even leave their homes without wearing a burka and being chaperoned by a male relative. Women who disobeyed the rules were often flogged in the streets.
But when the Taliban started negotiating its so-called peace deal with the Trump administration, it began presenting itself as a more moderate force.
Two years ago, Taliban spokesman SuhailShaheen at a glitzy hotel in the Qatari capital of Doha, where the talks were being held he told that “We are not against the education of women and their work,” Shaheen said. “(All) we want is that they should do this [while wearing] an Islamic hijab,” he told. But he wouldn’t say much more about the specific freedoms that women and girls would have under the group’s rule.
An Afghan woman PashtanaDurrani had been helping to educate girls in Kandahar, but she went into hiding when the Taliban seized the southern city. She told CBS News this week that she didn’t want to just assume the Taliban were “going to come and murder me, but I would really like for them to accept for a fact that we are just the same people from the same country, right? I just have different views when it comes to girls’ education.”
The Taliban continued to insist that it will ensure the rights of women and girls, and even said it wants women to join the new government. But recent days have brought a number of announcements of appointments to the new regime, and not a single position has been filled by a woman yet.
Many analysts believe the group is merely running an early public relations campaign to win support from both Afghans and the international community now that it controls the country.
But how long will this apparent PR campaign last? It’s still too early to know what the Taliban really means when it says it will govern “within the framework of Islamic law.”
The acting mayor of the capital Kabul said over the weekend that virtually every municipal city job held by women would be re-filled by men. HamdullahNamony told reporters on Sunday that only women who could not be replaced by men would be allowed to keep working, including some skilled jobs in technical fields, and female public toilet attendants.
That came after the education ministry ordered male teachers and students back to secondary school at the weekend, but made no mention of the country’s millions of women educators and girl pupils.
Internationallythe five permanent UN Security Council members found common ground on Wednesday on Afghanistan with officials saying all the powers would press the Taliban to be more inclusive after their military takeover. China and Russia have described last month’s Taliban victory as a defeat for the US and moved to work with the insurgents, but no country has moved to recognise a government that includes international pariahs. China on Thursday called for the lifting of sanctions against the Taliban-administered Afghanistan and urged the US not to use the frozen foreign exchange reserves of the war-torn country as a “bargaining chip” to exert political pressure on the hardline militant group. Addressing the G20 Foreign Ministers via a video link, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi also demanded the rushing of humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan without any delay.
The Taliban have now no choice than to bend to the demands of Afghan women if they want to escape economic collapse and diplomatic isolation, a leading rights activist said. Seventy-three-year-old MahboubaSeraj decided not to flee Kabul last month when the Taliban seized back power, two decades after they were ousted. Instead, from her home in Kabul, she has followed the Taliban’s mixed messages, trying to decipher what lies ahead for the women of her country who she has dedicated her life to.
Further The recent disappearance of Mullah Abdul GhaniBaradar, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan from the public eye, shows that all is not well within the Taliban top leadership. There have been reports of divisions among the Taliban leadership, raising questions about the unity within the group which took over Afghanistan last month the discord is “very real” and if disharmony grows, it will spell trouble for the people.
The recent disappearance of Mullah Abdul GhaniBaradar, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan from the public eye, shows that all is not well within the Taliban top leadership. There have been reports of divisions among the Taliban leadership, raising questions about the unity within the group which took over Afghanistan last month, the discord is “very real” and if disharmony grows, it will spell trouble for the people.
However The Taliban’s effective ban on women working sank in on Monday, sparking rage over the dramatic loss of rights after millions of female teachers and girls were barred from secondary school education. After pledging a softer version of their brutal and repressive regime of the 1990s, the Islamic fundamentalists are tightening their control of women’s freedoms one month after seizing power.
“I may as well be dead,” said one woman, who was sacked from her senior role at the ministry of foreign affairs.
“I was in charge of a whole department and there were many women working with me… now we have all lost our jobs,” she told AFP, insisting she not be identified for fear of reprisals.
What does Sharia law mean to the Taliban?
In his first news conference after the Taliban’s seizure of Kabul, the group’s chief spokesman ZabihullahMujahid said repeatedly that the group would respect women’s rights, “within the framework of Islamic law.”
What does that mean? Islamic or Sharia law is based on the Muslim holy book, the Quran, and on rulings by Islamic scholars around the world. It acts as a code of conduct in all areas of life for Muslims, governing everything from business to daily routines and personal beliefs and practices.
But it is interpreted in a wide variety of ways — there is no single, agreed upon code of Sharia law.
The interpretations range from that used by ISIS to justify the horrors of their brutal Caliphate, to modern Islamic feminists, who see Sharia as a system that ensures equality for all.
Taliban leaders have suggested that they’ll impose a less harsh version of Sharia law on Afghanistan now than they did when they were last in power, from 1996-2001.Let us e
Let us See what happens.
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