Taliban remain unjustly in power, according to Afghan women activists


Taliban remain unjustly in power, according to Afghan women activists

Despite a statement by thousands of male clerics praising the Taliban's hardline regime, Afghan women activists claimed Sunday that the Taliban still have no right to rule.

Following a three-day gathering that failed to address contentious matters including teenage females' freedom to attend school, the clerics swore fealty to the Taliban and its reclusive commander on Saturday.

Since taking control last August, the Taliban have attempted to portray the meeting as a support for their idea of a wholly sharia-compliant Islamic state.

They insisted last week that only their sons and husbands would represent women at the gathering, which was attended by almost 3,500 men.

According to Hoda Khamosh, a rights activist who is currently living in exile in Norway, "statements made or pledging allegiance to the Taliban in any meeting or function without the presence of half the nation's population, the women, are not acceptable."

"This meeting lacks authority, validity, or public support," the statement reads.

Since retaking power in August, the Taliban has imposed draconian restrictions on Afghans, particularly women, through its rigorous application of sharia law.

Secondary school girls have been denied access to education, and women have been prohibited from holding public office, restricted from taking alone trips, and instructed to wear attire that covers everything but their faces.

The Taliban have also made it illegal to play secular music, forced TV networks to stop airing dramas and movies with naked women, and instructed men to wear traditional clothing and grow beards.

A handful of women's organisations in Kabul also denounced the clerics' meeting as unrepresentative.

The organiser, Ainoor Uzbik, told AFP following a press conference that "the Ulema (clerics) are simply one element of society, they are not the whole."

"The choices they make are not in the best interests of the nation and its citizens; they are solely designed to advance their own interests. Neither the statement nor the agenda included anything for women.

The collective claimed in a statement that men similar to the Taliban have before maintained total control, but generally only for a brief period before being ousted. The only action Afghans can do, according to Uzbik, is to speak up and urge that the international community exert pressure on the Taliban.

Previous Post Next Post