Taliban dismiss idea of women in government: 'They should give birth'

‘A woman can’t be a minister – they should give birth’: Taliban dismiss the idea of female ministers as they ‘prepare to hold government inauguration on 9/11 to TROLL the US’

  • Spokesman Sayed Zekrullah Hashim made the comments to TOLO News
  • He dismissed the notion of women in government, saying that allowing a woman to be a minister would ‘put something on her neck that she cannot carry’
  • It comes as Russian media reported the Taliban may inaugurate their new government this Saturday on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks
  • Head of Russia Today, Margarita Simonyan, described the move as ‘trolling’

A Taliban spokesman declared on Thursday that women will never take up a ministerial position in government because it’s a burden that they ‘cannot carry’ and they should instead ‘give birth’.

In an interview with Afghan outlet TOLO News, spokesman Sayed Zekrullah Hashimi declared that the Taliban ‘do not consider women to be half of the society’ and that allowing a woman to become a government minister would be to ‘put something on her neck that she cannot carry.’

The video, which the MailOnline has not yet been able to verify, shows a conversation between Hashimi and TOLO News reporter in which Hashimi declares that the ‘women protesting in the streets – they are not the women of Afghanistan.

‘The women of Afghanistan are those who give birth to the people of Afghanistan, educates them on Islamic ethics.’

It comes amid reports that the Taliban may hold the official inauguration of their new government on 9/11 to ‘troll’ the US as Americans prepare to commemorate the 20-year anniversary of the terror attacks on the World Trade Center. 

Spokesman Sayed Zekrullah Hashimi declared that the Taliban ‘do not consider women to be half of the society’ and that allowing a woman to become a government minister would be to ‘put something on her neck that she can’t carry’

The words of Hashimi do nothing to dispel the assumptions that the Taliban have not altered their hardline stance. ‘The women protesting in the streets, they do not represent the women of Afghanistan. The women of Afghanistan are those who give birth to the people of Afghanistan, educates them on Islamic ethics,’ he said.

Taliban fighters faced female led protests on September 8 after they announced an all-male interim government with a no representation for women and ethnic minority groups on Tuesday

The words of Hashimi do nothing to dispel the assumptions that the Taliban have not altered their hardline stance which saw them impose a brutally strict interpretation of Islamic law during their rule in Afghanistan in the 1990s.

The group has tried to distance itself from the policies of the old regime, but widespread reports of the Taliban beating protestors, administering medieval punishments on the streets and introducing a ban on all women playing sport has shown a disconnect between the group’s PR offensive and their true intentions. 

‘A woman can’t be a minister, it is like you put something on her neck that she can’t carry,’ said Hashimi.

‘It is not necessary for women to be in the cabinet – they should give birth. Women protesters can’t represent all women in Afghanistan.

The interviewer interjected to declare: ‘Women are half of the society.’

But Hashimi dismissed the notion immediately: ‘But we do not consider them half. What kind of half?’ 

‘The women protesting in the streets, they do not represent the women of Afghanistan. The women of Afghanistan are those who give birth to the people of Afghanistan, educates them on Islamic ethics.’

Taliban fighters faced female led protests on Wednesday September 8 after they announced an all-male interim government with a no representation for women and ethnic minority groups on Tuesday, and subsequently banned women from taking part in any sport. 

Furious protesters took to the streets of the capital in response to the decision and pictures quickly emerged showing female demonstrators arguing with Taliban fighters as one woman stared down an M-16 rifle pointed at her face. 

Footage taken on a mobile phone shows a woman in an underground car park, panning around to reveal a crowd of women and some children gathered in the same space.  

Miraqa Popal, the head of news at Afghanistan’s Tolo News outlet, shared the clip on Twitter, writing that some eyewitnesses said the women were held in Kabul’s Azizi Bank ‘to prevent them from joining protesters’.  

Demonstrators also chanted anti-Pakistan slogans, denouncing the ‘intrusion’ of the country into Afghan domestic affairs. Pakistan has been accused of providing air support to the Taliban.

Taliban fighters fired gunshots into the air to disperse protesters and reportedly made several arrests. 

Dozens of Afghan women were ‘kept in the basement of a bank’ to prevent them from taking part in protests in Kabul on Wednesday, according to eyewitnesses

Taliban fighters faced female led protests on Wednesday September 8 after they announced an all-male interim government with a no representation for women and ethnic minority groups on Tuesday

An Afghan girl watches during a cricket game on the school grounds in Kabul on December 28, 2010. Cricket has been popular with both genders since the Taliban were ousted by coalition forces but now women won’t be allowed to play because the jihadists think it is immodest

Meanwhile, Russian state media has reported that the Taliban is considering holding the official inauguration of its new government on Saturday September 11 – the 20-year anniversary of the infamous 9/11 attacks.

On Wednesday, state-owned Russian news agency RIA Novosti cited an unnamed Taliban source claiming the group’s cabinet would be inducted on September 11 in a calculated move described as ‘trolling’ by head of RT Margarita Simonyan.

‘The inauguration of Afghanistan’s new government has been scheduled for 9/11. The Talibs are good not only at generating memes but also at trolling,’ she tweeted.

The Taliban have not officially confirmed the date of the inauguration since an interim government was announced earlier this week, but on Thursday the group demanded that the US lifted sanctions it had imposed on members of the cabinet. 

It comes after the Taliban on Monday defeated the National Resistance Front (NRF) in Panjshir, the only province of Afghanistan that previously was free from Taliban rule.

NRF leader Ahmad Massoud appeared to admit defeat in an audio message sent to the media in which he called on Afghans to launch ‘a national uprising for the dignity, freedom and prosperity of our country,’ which also sparked protests but no major clashes between Afghan citizens and the Taliban. 

The head of RT and many other Russian state news agencies Margarita Simonyan cited an unnamed Taliban source claiming the group’s cabinet would be inducted on September 11 in a calculated move she described as ‘trolling

Sirajuddin Haqqani, the Taliban’s interim interior minister, is the ‘the Afghan equivalent of the director of the FBI,’ an expert says

The Taliban’s interim government contains many of its old-guard hardline leaders.

Their newly-appointed interim interior minister, Sirajuddin Haqqani, is wanted by the FBI in connection with a Kabul hotel bombing in 2008 that killed six people, and is registered on the FBI’s list of ‘specially designated global terrorists’ as a suspected terrorist leader. 

He’s also believed to be holding at least one American hostage, the Associated Press reported. 

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also said on Thursday that he could not confirm the date of the Taliban’s inauguration, but Russia’s envoy for Afghan talks Ambassador Dmitry Zhirnov said he would attend. 

AFGHANISTAN FACING ‘HUMANITARIAN AND DEVELOPMENT DISASTER’ 

Afghanistan is teetering on the brink of ‘universal poverty’ that could become a reality in the middle of next year unless urgent efforts are made to bolster local communities and their economies, according to a United Nations development agency report.

It said the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has put 20 years of steady economic gains at risk.

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) outlined four scenarios for Afghanistan following the Taliban’s takeover that project the country’s GDP will decline between 3.6% and 13.2% in the next fiscal year starting in June 2022, depending on the intensity of the crisis and how much the world engages with the Taliban.

That is in sharp contrast to the expected 4% growth in GDP before the Taliban assumed power for a second time on August 15.

‘Afghanistan pretty much faces universal poverty by the middle of next year,’ said Kanni Wignaraja, the UNDP’s Asia-Pacific director. ‘That’s where we’re heading – it’s 97-98% (poverty rate) no matter how you work these projections.’

Currently, Afghanistan’s poverty rate is 72%.

The UNDP pointed to many development gains over the last 20 years that are now at risk of being reversed: Per capita income more than doubled; life expectancy at birth was extended by about nine years; and the number of years of schooling rose from six to 10 with hundreds of thousands of girls getting an education denied under the Taliban’s previous rule from 1996 to 2001.

Ms Wignaraja said Afghanistan now faces ‘a humanitarian and development disaster’ resulting from political instability, frozen foreign reserves, a collapsed public finance system, ‘a crush on local banking because of this’, as well as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The UNDP said Afghanistan’s foreign reserves now cover just one week of imports, which the country is heavily reliant on for oil, food and machinery.

Abdallah Al Dardari, the UNDP’s representative in Afghanistan, said that by the time the Taliban took over, ‘the Afghan population was already on the brink of collapse economically and socially’.

With universal poverty looming, he said, the most important thing is saving livelihoods, which can also save lives.

He said the UNDP has put together a package for local communities to support livelihoods, to support jobs for young men and women and to reach households with disabled people and men and women over 65.

The UNDP also wants to make sure it reaches the 65,000 enterprises in Afghanistan owned by women, and that a million young men and women find jobs, he said.

‘All of this will reach about nine million Afghans,’ Mr Al Dardari said in a video brieifng from Istanbul. ‘Most importantly, we preserve through this package 20 years of economic and social development in Afghanistan.’

He said ‘70% and more of the Afghan economy is made up of informal activities and 70% of that sector is owned by women, and therefore we need to focus on women in Afghanistan to prevent poverty’.

 Source: AP

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