Women cannot be forced into marriage: Taliban

The Taliban government in Afghanistan has issued a decree to take “important steps” on women’s rights.

The decree was issued on Friday in the name of Haibatullah Akhundzada, the supreme leader of the force. The decree states that “the leadership of the Islamic Emirate has instructed the relevant bodies to take important steps to establish women’s rights.”

The decree mentions women’s rights in marriage and widows. It says that no woman can be forced into marriage and that if a woman’s husband dies, the widow will have a share in her property.

The decree directed the Ministry of Culture and Information to disclose these issues of women’s rights in order to prevent the ongoing persecution.

Although instructions on marriage and property were given, the decree did not say anything about women’s access to education and work.

When the Taliban was in power in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, there was little to say about women’s rights. At that time women were not allowed to go out of the house without a male companion and veil. Girls’ education was also banned.

The Taliban regained power in mid-August. Then came changes in the country’s economy, diplomacy, governance, and foreign policy. But the biggest concern is with Afghan women. Various international countries and organizations, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations, have expressed concern about the future of women. In the meantime, several countries have cut off funding to keep the country under pressure.

Although Akhundzada has been elected the Taliban’s top leader since 2016, he has rarely been seen in public.

On October 30, the Taliban released a 10-minute audio recording. However, many analysts believe that he died long ago.

After the Taliban took power, the country’s economy, diplomacy, governance, and foreign policy changed. But the biggest concern is with Afghan women. Various international countries and organizations, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations, have expressed concern about the future of women. And the evidence that those concerns are not unfounded is beginning to show. Afghan women are trapped in a web of rules imposed by the Taliban’s interim government on education and the workplace.

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