Taliban bans forced marriage but fails to mention education for girls

Taliban decrees ‘women aren’t property’ as it unveils new rules in Afghanistan banning forced marriage but fails to mention education for girls

  • The Taliban decreed women should not be treated as ‘property’
  • Decree says widows should have a share in their late husbands’ property
  • Does not mention education for women or girls
  • Does not mention a woman’s right to work outside the home  

The Taliban today unveiled a decree saying that women must consent to marriage and not be seen as property, but did not mention any provisions for education for women and girls, or the right to work outside their homes.

‘A woman is not a property, but a noble and free human being; no one can give her to anyone in exchange for peace…or to end animosity,’ Taliban spokesman Zabihillah Muhajid said, citing the new decree.

The decree also said that widows should have a share in their late husbands’ property, and laid out property rights for women. 

Taliban spokesperson Zabihillah Muhajid said women would not be forced into marriage

The Taliban are asking the US to unfreeze Afghanistan’s financial assets as an economic crisis sweeps the nation

Although the Taliban have allowed younger girls to return to class, older secondary school girls have not been allowed

The international community have been applying pressure to the hardline Taliban, who took over Afghanistan on 15 August, to get them to commit to upholding women’s rights.

The group took over in a matter of days after the US announced it was pulling troops out.  

Kabul’s financial assets have been frozen, and the Taliban administration has repeatedly asked the US to unfreeze them and allow it to function as a government as an economic crisis sweeps Afghanistan, plunging many into dire poverty-stricken situations. 

Horror stories of forced marriages by the Taliban were shared by Afghans after the group swept to power.

The evacuation of US troops from Kabul airport has been likened to the fall of Saigon during the Vietnam war

Families fled en masse to escape the prospect of female relatives being married off to Taliban fighters.  

One Afghan man, who left to the UK on a scholarship, told the BBC that he feared his sister would be forced to marry one of their ‘lunatic’ fighters, and referred to it as a ‘imprisoning her for life’.

The unnamed man, said in September: ‘They are saying my sister will be married to one of their lunatic members. It’s not a death sentence, but what they are doing is imprisoning her for life.

‘She’ll be like a war prisoner, she can’t even pronounce some words, she’s in school. But they’re saying she shouldn’t be in school, she should be getting married.’

Previously, Taliban officials backtracked on the deputy head of culture commission Ahmadullah Wasiq, who said women should be banned from playing sports as it was ‘not necessary’. 

Officials claimed there was a mistranslation when he said that women in sports was ‘un-Islamic’, despite the Quran saying nothing about women being banned playing sports.

Female sports teams fled Afghanistan after the Taliban swept to power

Female athletes have fled Afghanistan, including the national football team, fearing a return to the hardline ban on women’s sports that was imposed from 1996-2001 by the hardline Taliban government.

Women were also banned from leaving their homes without a full veil or accompaniment by a male relative, and young girls were not allowed to participate in education.

There is also no scripture in the Quran banning women and girls from taking up education.

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