Days after Afghan women hit the streets demanding female representation in the government of Afghanistan, a Taliban spokesperson made it clear that there would be no female participation in politics.
While speaking to TOLO News, Taliban spokesman Sayed Zekrullah Hashimi emphasised, “It is not necessary for a woman to be in the Cabinet.” He made it clear to the presenter that the Talibs did not believe that women are equal to men. “We do not consider them half of the society. What kind of half? The half in itself is misdefined here.”
He then went on to blame women of ‘prostitution’ in offices under the US-backed Afghan government in Kabul for the last 20 years. Hashimi further added, “The female protesters do not represent all women of Afghanistan, who give birth to children and educate them on Islamic ethics.”
The Taliban spokesperson claimed that the role of women was limited to producing babies. On being pressed about female representation in the Interim government, he stated, “Women cannot do the work of Afghan Ministry. It is like you put something on her neck that she can’t carry.”
A Taliban spokesman on @TOLOnews: “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 a woman to be in the cabinet, they should give birth & women protesters can’t represent all women in AFG.”— Natiq Malikzada (@natiqmalikzada) September 9, 2021
Video with subtitles👇 pic.twitter.com/CFe4MokOk0
Under the previous Taliban regime (1996-2001), women were prevented from pursuing education, and getting a job. They had to cover themselves from head to toe and had to be accompanied by a male guardian at all times. Earlier in August, Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid warned women from going to work for their own safety as ‘some’ of the Talibs were yet to be trained against hurting women. “We are worried our forces who are new and have not been yet trained very well may mistreat women,” he had cautioned.
Recently, a video of Talibs casually expressing their misogynistic views against women had revealed why the Taliban’s promise of embracing a more moderate outlook was nothing more than a window dressing, aimed to project a mirage of refinement to gain international legitimacy and suppress internal opposition.
A BBC journalist recently took to Twitter to share a video in which a Talib was seen making an appalling analogy to justify the hijab. Explaining the importance of the hijab, the Talibani official says: “Do you buy a sliced melon or an intact melon. Of course the intact one. A woman without a hijab is like a sliced melon.”