21 Sep 2021: No women included in Taliban's new list of Cabinet members
The Taliban on Tuesday announced another list of new names for the remaining Cabinet positions in its new government. However, no women made it to the list once again. This comes amid warnings by the international community about the recognition of women and minorities in Afghanistan. The Taliban has been facing flak over the lack of women representation in its government.
Details: Taliban defends its Cabinet expansion; highlights inclusion of minorities
While presenting the list of new Cabinet members, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid defended the expansion, saying it included members of ethnic minorities, such as Hazaras. On the non-inclusion of women, Mujahid said women might be added later. Mujahid also expressed his displeasure at international conditions for recognition, saying, "It is the responsibility of the United Nations to recognize our government (and) for other countries."
Taliban: Earlier, Taliban claimed women can't be ministers; should give birth
The exclusion of women from the Taliban Cabinet is not surprising if we revisit the group's views on women assuming ministerial berths. Days after forming an all-male Cabinet, a Taliban spokesperson had told TOLOnews that women shouldn't be ministers and they should only give birth. The spokesperson had also said women's presence in public offices is nothing but "prostitution."
Fact: Women protested against Taliban, demanding representation in government
A day after the Taliban announced their all-male interim government, dozens of women protested on the streets, demanding equal rights and women's representation in the government. Protesters also complained about the abolition of the women's affairs ministry.
Women: Taliban's actions contradict own vows to uphold women's rights
After returning to power last month, the Taliban had promised that it would uphold women's rights. However, the group's actions contradict its claim. Apart from excluding women from government, it has also reportedly banned women from public offices in Kabul. The group was also criticized after it reopened secondary schools only for boys, breaking its promise to allow girls to continue their studies.
Context: Taliban announced interim government on September 7
To recall, the Taliban had announced an interim government of Afghanistan on September 7. They named Taliban chief Haibatullah Akhundzada the supreme leader with the final say on religious, political, and security affairs. However, they received flak for the inclusion of certain global terrorists on the Cabinet. Most notable among them is Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani, who carries a bounty of $10 million.
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