Taliban says women cannot be ministers; should just give birth
Days after forming an all-male Cabinet in Afghanistan, the Taliban's misogyny was exposed once again when its spokesperson claimed that women shouldn't be ministers and they should only give birth. The comments were made by Taliban spokesperson Sayed Zekrullah Hashimi to TOLOnews while defending the Taliban on why women ministers are missing in their new caretaker government. Here are more details.
'Can't put something on women's neck that she can't carry'
In the interview—which has since gone viral—Hashimi said, "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." He also rejected the interviewer's counter that women are half of the society and said women's presence in offices is nothing but "prostitution."
'Taliban doesn't consider women half of society'
Countering the interviewer, Hashimi said, "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."
Women protesting on streets don't represent all Afghan women: Hashimi
A day after the Taliban announced their new government, dozens of women protested on the streets, demanding equal rights and women in government. Protesters also complained against the abolition of the women's affairs ministry. Hashimi said the protesting women "don't represent the women of Afghanistan." "The women of Afghanistan are those who give birth to the people of Afghanistan, educate them on Islamic ethics."
Women's rights: Taliban's actions contradict own claims
Since coming back to power, the Taliban has been trying to distance itself from its oppressive regime in the 1990s. The group has promised to uphold women's rights and allow women to work and study. However, its actions contradict its claims. While women are now allowed to work and study, wearing burqa and segregation of classrooms based on sex, have also been made mandatory.
Taliban's Cabinet choice sparks row
Meanwhile, the Taliban is also facing flak over its choices for Cabinet ministers in the new caretaker government. Notably, several of its ministers have been identified as global terrorists, including the Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani, who carries a bounty of $10 million on his head. Some Afghan politicians have also complained that the new Cabinet lacks inclusivity and urged the Taliban to reconsider it.
Mohammadi Karim Khalili of the Hizb-e-Wahdat Islami Afghanistan party said, "[The new] government is neither politically inclusive nor socially inclusive...If it is not reviewed and reorganized, it will not only [fail to] guarantee..the country's interests...and durable stability, it will...worsen the crisis."