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Taliban declares women “free,” but rights activists see little cause to celebrate

Afghanistan‘s Taliban rulers have issued a “special decree” outlining women’s rights beneath the regime, but getting an schooling or a job usually are not amongst them. The United States welcomed the decree but famous that extra was wanted to guarantee women’s rights in Afghanistan.

Women’s rights activists within the nation had been fully unimpressed, in the meantime, dismissing the brand new proclamation issued on Friday as Taliban posturing meant for the worldwide group, not Afghan women.

The decree, attributed to Taliban supreme chief Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, bans youngster marriage and states that “no one can force a woman to marry by coercion or pressure.”

Child marriage and compelled marriages are widespread throughout a lot of rural Afghanistan and have been for hundreds of years — even beneath the U.S.-backed authorities that held sway for 20 years till the Taliban’s takeover in the summertime. Girls are sometimes given away as brides to resolve disputes and settle money owed between rival tribes and households. Low-income households will generally marry their younger ladies to a lot older males in change for a big fee or dowry.


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In 2018 and 2019, within the western provinces of Herat and Badghis alone, UNICEF registered 183 circumstances of kid marriages and 10 cases of youngsters being bought by their households. Last month UNICEF launched a report during which the company’s govt director stated she was “deeply concerned” with data that youngster marriage was on the rise in Afghanistan.

The Taliban’s declaration on Friday acknowledged that: “A woman is not a property, but a noble and free human being; no one can give her to anyone in exchange of for peace deal or to end animosity.”

Tomas West, the U.S. particular consultant for Afghanistan, welcomed the decree permitting women to decide who they marry, but stated “much more is needed to ensure women’s rights in every aspect of Afghan society including schools, workplaces, politics and media.”

The Taliban have allowed only a few women, excluding medical staff, to proceed their work. Many skilled women have fled the nation or given up on their careers, and ladies and younger women haven’t been allowed to return to faculty past the elementary years.


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And holding ladies out of college, warned the UNICEF director in final month’s report, was doubtless to gas the issue of kid marriage.

“As most teenage girls are still not allowed to go back to school, the risk of child marriage is now even higher. Education is often the best protection against negative coping mechanisms such as child marriage and child labor,” the report stated.

Since retaking Afghanistan this summer time, the Taliban’s leaders have been pushing Western governments for formal recognition because the respectable rulers of the nation. No international states have acknowledged the Taliban authorities to this point.

Many consultants and rights activists see the decree issued on Friday as being aimed extra at different international locations than it’s at affording Afghan women any actual rights.


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“The Taliban are just posturing for international attention and recognition,” Dr. Bahar Jalali, a former professor on the American University of Afghanistan, informed CBS News. “They want to make it appear as if they will gradually soften their approaches and become more open regarding women’s rights. It’s of course not sincere. It is just a ploy to try to make themselves appear more moderate.”  

In response to the decree, a gaggle of women’s rights activists held a gathering in Kabul on Sunday. Fearing reprisals from the Taliban, the occasion was held indoors. The individuals expressed their dissatisfaction over the decree, calling on the United Nations and the worldwide group to pay shut consideration to women’s rights in Afghanistan.

The Taliban’s decree “summarizes all of the women’s rights only in the context of marriage and shows that the Taliban thinking about women does not go beyond home, housekeeping and marriage,” Huda Khamush, one of many organizers of the occasion, informed CBS News. 

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