Afghan women activists denounce 'illegitimate' Taliban rule

Edited By: Manas Joshi
Kabul Updated: Jul 03, 2022, 08:04 PM(IST)

(File photo) A Taliban fighter stands guard before start of a women's protest in support of the Taliban regime at the Ahmad Shah Massoud square in front of the US embassy in Kabul. Photograph:( AFP )

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Since seizing power in August last year, the Taliban have imposed a religious regime guided by harsh interpretation of sharia law

Afghan women activists asserted on Sunday that the Taliban remained illegitimate rulers in spite of endorsement of their hardline rule by thousands of male clerics. These clerics pledged allegiance to the Taliban rule on Saturday following  three-day meeting. This meeting failed tio address thorny issue such as right of teenage girls to go to school. Taliban seized power in August last year. The group has sought to present the meeting as vote of confidence.

They insisted last week that women would be represented at the meeting -- attended by over 3,500 men -- but only by their sons and husbands.

"Statements released or pledging allegiance to the Taliban in any gathering or event without the presence of half of the nation's population, the women, are not acceptable," Hoda Khamosh, a rights activist currently in exile in Norway, told AFP.

"This summit... does not have legitimacy, validity, or the approval of the people."

Since seizing power in August last year, the Taliban have imposed a religious regime guided by harsh interpretation of sharia law. This has led to many restrictions on Afghans. Women have been instructed to cover-up from head to toe. Men have been asked to dress in traditional wear and grow beards.

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The Taliban have also outlawed playing non-religious music, ordered TV channels to stop showing movies and soaps featuring uncovered women.

In Kabul, a collective of women's groups also slammed the clerics' meeting as not representative.

"The ulema (clerics) are just one part of society, they are not the whole," organiser Ainoor Uzbik told AFP after a press conference.

"The decisions they made serve only their own interests and are not in the interest of the country and its people. There was nothing for women on the agenda, nor in the communique."

(With inputs from agencies)

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