The Taliban has said women will be permitted to work and study to university level, coming amid concerns across the country.
With the militant group’s takeover of Kabul and a new government established, Afghan residents have been trying to flee in their thousands. Today, August 17, the Taliban formed a ring around the airport to prevent further people getting in, controlling panicked crowds with gunfire, UNILAD reports.
Given the insurgents’ treatment of women historically, there have been worldwide fears for their safety under the Taliban’s new regime, particularly with reports of prominent Afghan women’s doors being marked with paint. However, the group has insisted women will have the right to work and study.
Speaking to Sky News, Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen said women will be allowed to work and receive education up to university level, adding that ‘thousands’ of schools remain open following the takeover. He also said women will be expected to wear the hijab but not the burka, explaining: ‘These are not our rules, these are Islamic rules… it is for their security.’
With regards to those who worked under President Ashraf Ghani’s administration, Shaheen said: ‘Their properties will be saved and their honour and their lives are safe.’
This comes after the Taliban declared an ‘amnesty’ across Afghanistan, appearing to try and allay concerns among citizens desperate to escape. ‘The Islamic Emirate doesn’t want women to be victims. They should be in government structure according to Shariah law,’ Enamullah Samangani, a member of the Taliban’s cultural commission, said.
‘The structure of government is not fully clear, but based on experience, there should be a fully Islamic leadership and all sides should join,’ he added.
This sentiment far differs from the Taliban’s rule from 1996 to 2001, when women couldn’t leave their homes without being accompanied by a male, couldn’t work and had to cover their faces. Punishments included stonings, amputations and public executions.