Taliban yet to decide on roles for women

KABUL (Tolo News): Taliban say they have predicted some role for women in government offices but insisted that they will not be appointed in higher ranking positions despite, something that adds to the concerns among Afghan women who seek a bigger role in society under the new rule.

Quoted by the BBC, a senior Taliban negotiator Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai said on Wednesday that women can work but they will not be allowed to work in higher positions in the government. Taliban’s perspective on women’s role in society has been a much-debated topic. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid at a press conference last month said women can work under Islamic principles, providing no details on their perspective in this respect.

“Women are key elements of society,” Mujahid said. “They can continue their work within the framework of Islam.” Another Taliban authority, Inamullah Samangani, who is a member of the cultural commission of the Taliban, said those Afghan women who have leadership capabilities can take part in the future government.

“Women can return to their jobs while considering Islamic Sharia (laws),” he said. There have been few cautious and symbolic rallies by women in Kabul and some other provinces to raise their voice for their right to work, the right to education and political participation under the Taliban, but these movements have been less noticed due to airport chaos and ongoing discussions among Taliban and political leaders on a future setup.

Some Afghan women who talked to TOLOnews said they want a role in society same as men. Nooria Nazhat, a former government official and an ex-media worker, said the Taliban so far has not expressed a unified stance on women’s right to work in government institutions.

“There isn’t a unified view among the Taliban on women’s activities in society and politics. The same is in the cultural and education sectors.This is concerning,” Nazhat said, who has worked as former chairperson of media office of the Ministry of Economy. “The Taliban should form a government in which all ethnic and religious groups and women are represented,” said Shukria Barekzai, a former Afghan ambassador. “It will be a historic mistake if we remove women from the leadership,” Barikzai added.