Afghan women activists claimed on Sunday that the Taliban remained illegitimate leaders despite the endorsement of their extremist regime by thousands of male clerics. These clerics pledged allegiance to the Taliban regime on Saturday after a three-day meeting. This meeting failed to address a thorny issue such as the right of adolescent girls to go to school. The Taliban took power last August. The group sought to portray the meeting as a vote of confidence.
They insisted last week that women be represented at the meeting – which is attended by more than 3,500 men – but only by their sons and husbands.
“Published statements or allegiance to the Taliban at a rally or event without the presence of half the country’s population, women, is not acceptable,” Hoda Khamosh told AFP. a human rights activist currently in exile in Norway.
“This summit…has no legitimacy, validity or popular approval.”
Since taking power last August, the Taliban have imposed a religious regime guided by a harsh interpretation of Sharia law. This has led to many restrictions being imposed on Afghans. Women were instructed to cover themselves from head to toe. The men were asked to wear traditional clothes and grow beards.
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The Taliban also banned the broadcast of non-religious music, ordered television stations to stop airing films and soap operas featuring uncovered women.
In Kabul, a collective of women’s groups also criticized the gathering of clerics as unrepresentative.
“The ulema (religious) are only a part of society, they are not the whole,” organizer Ainoor Uzbik told AFP after a press conference.
“The decisions they made only serve 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 communiqué. “
(With agency contributions)
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