Taliban ban use of contraception: ‘Conspiracy to control Muslim population’ | World News - Hindustan Times
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Taliban ban use of contraception: ‘Conspiracy to control Muslim population’

Feb 19, 2023 04:16 PM IST

This marks the latest attack on women’s rights by the Taliban who came to power in August 2021 after US troop withdrawal.

Taliban have stopped the sale of contraceptives in two of Afghanistan’s main cities, a report said. The Taliban claimed that the use of contraceptives by women is a western conspiracy to control the Muslim population, Guardian reported adding that the Taliban has been going door to door, threatening midwives and ordering pharmacies to not sell birth control medicines and devices.

Taliban In Afghanistan News: A Taliban fighter stands guard as a woman walks past in Kabul, Afghanistan. (AP)
Taliban In Afghanistan News: A Taliban fighter stands guard as a woman walks past in Kabul, Afghanistan. (AP)

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“They came to my store twice with guns and threatened me not to keep contraceptive pills for sale. They are regularly checking every pharmacy in Kabul and we have stopped selling the products,” a store owner told Guardian while a midwife was told by a Taliban commander as per Guardian, “You are not allowed to go outside and promote the western concept of controlling population and this is unnecessary work.”

“Items such as birth control pills and Depo-Provera injections are not allowed to be kept in the pharmacy since the start of this month, and we are too afraid to sell the existing stock,” another shop owner in Kabul told Guardian.

This marks the latest attack on women’s rights by the Taliban who came to power in August 2021 after US troop withdrawal. Taliban have since ended higher education for girls, closed universities to women, forced women out of their jobs and restricted their ability to leave their homes.

Shabnam Nasimi, an Afghan-born social activist in the UK, told Guardian, “The Taliban’s control not only over women’s human right to work and study, but now also over their bodies, is outrageous.

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“It is a fundamental human right to have access to family planning and contraception services free of coercion. Such autonomy and agency are essential components of women’s rights such as the right to equality, non-discrimination, life, sexual health, reproductive health, and other basic human rights," Shabnam Nasimi added.

A 2021 Human Rights Watch report said that the most basic information on maternal health and family planning was not available to most women in Afghanistan.

“What emerged is a picture of a system that is increasingly unaffordable to the estimated 61% to 72% of Afghan women who live in poverty, and one in which women often have more children than they want because of lack of access to modern contraception; face risky pregnancies because of lack of care; and undergo procedures that could be done more safely with access to and capacity to use more modern techniques,” the report said.

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