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“Woman can’t be a minister… they should give birth”: Taliban on female rights

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Kabul: Showing the position of women under Taliban’s rule, a statement, made by the spokesperson of the hardline group in a media interview, has reinforced the perception that the extremist outfit’s claims of a new improved version since its brutal rule in Afghanistan in the 1990s are all false.

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The comments by Taliban spokesperson Sayed Zekrullah Hashimi to TOLO News on the new Afghan government missing women ministers, have been widely shared on social media.

“A woman can’t be a minister, it is like you put something on her neck that she can’t carry. It is not necessary for women to be in the cabinet – they should give birth. Women protesters can’t represent all women in Afghanistan,” Hashimi told TOLO news.

The interviewer countered: “Women are half of the society.”

To which Hashimi replied, “But we do not consider them half. What kind of half? The half itself is misdefined here. The half means here that you keep them in the cabinet and nothing more. And if you violate her rights, not an issue. Over the last 20 years, whatever was said by this media, the US, and its puppet government in Afghanistan, was it anything but prostitution in offices?”

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“You can’t accuse all women of prostitution”, the interviewer corrected.

“I do not mean all Afghan women. The four women protesting in the streets, they do not represent the women of Afghanistan. The women of Afghanistan are those who give birth to the people of Afghanistan, educates them on Islamic ethics,” said the spokesperson.

Replying to why he thought women could not be ministers, Hashimi said, “What a woman does, she cannot do the work of a ministry. You put something on her neck that she cannot carry.”

To note, the Taliban announced an all-male cabinet for its interim government on Tuesday, giving hardliners and globally wanted terrorists in key positions in its newly formed ministries.

Ever since its takeover of Kabul on August 15, the extremist group known for its oppressive regime 20 years ago, has tried to paint a new picture of itself by distancing itself from its old policies of excluding women from work and education. However, there has been a mismatch between its words and actions.

The Taliban said under new rules, women may work “in accordance with the principles of Islam” and can also study at university in classrooms that are segregated by sex, with a “curtain of separation” and strict rules.

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