Taliban's engagement with global bodies to depend on safety of women's rights in Afghanistan: UN

  • "The decisions that are made in the coming days on how the international community will engage with the Taliban will have long-term implications," Naciri added.
A banner with a picture of late Afghan commander Ahmad Shah Massoud is installed next to residential buildings as burqa-clad Afghan women walk along an under-construction road in Kabul.(AFP)
A banner with a picture of late Afghan commander Ahmad Shah Massoud is installed next to residential buildings as burqa-clad Afghan women walk along an under-construction road in Kabul.(AFP)
Published on Sep 09, 2021 04:57 PM IST
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By | Written by Shivani Kumar | Edited by Avik Roy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The Taliban's engagement with global bodies will depend on the Islamist group’s action toward securing the rights of women in Afghanistan, the regional director of UN Women for Asia and Pacific, Mohammad Naciri said. "Women's rights must be the litmus test for our collective engagement with the Taliban," Naciri said, according to local media reports.

"The decisions that are made in the coming days on how the international community will engage with the Taliban will have long-term implications," Naciri added.

The Taliban, known for its radical way of ruling, returned to power in Afghanistan last month following the withdrawal of the US military from the war-torn country. Designated as a terrorist organisation by the United States, the group ruled over the country from 1996 to 2001, when the American forces ousted them in anti-terror operations.

Since then the women in Afghanistan have been reclaiming the public space, by joining workforces and enlisting themselves in police forces. They also competed in Olympics, became engineers, doctors and diplomats over the past few years and pushed the Islamic country to become more progressive. However, with the Taliban returning to power after 20 years, the same women are facing an uncertain future and fear that the group will reintroduce their regressive policies.

The Taliban's position, in turn, is equally unclear - whether they will seek international legitimacy, turn to their established friends for support or turn inward.

On Tuesday, the group announced their appointments of key ministers of the caretaking cabinet. However, the group made no mention of women as part of any governance structure. According to local media reports, the Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid has recommended women stay at home, "for their own protection."

Women have also started disappearing from the media landscape, the group banned women's voices from the radio. Reports are also emerging from across the country claiming forced marriage of young girls, women being sent home from their workplaces.

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Thursday, January 27, 2022