Middle East/North Africa

Taliban spokesman says education, careers will be open to women: ‘We must show them respect’

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid calls on journalists raising their hands to ask a question during a press conference in Kabul
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A spokesman for the Taliban said Wednesday that women will have the opportunity to pursue education and have careers under the new government in Afghanistan.

Speaking to NBC News, Zabihullah Mujahid said women will have “all the rights that Islam promises,” adding “they can be doctors, teachers, be educated and can work to benefit society.”

“They are our sisters, we must show them respect. They should not be frightened. The Taliban are humans and from this country. They fought for our country. Women should be proud of us, not scared,” Mujahid said.

The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan has sparked widespread concerns about the fate of women and girls. A number of Afghan women have told The Hill that they fear their rights will be violated and that they will be constrained like they were when the Taliban ruled the country before U.S. troops invaded in 2001.

Late last week, the U.S. and 20 other nations called for the protection of women and girls in Afghanistan who are under control of the Taliban.

Mujahid said in a news conference this week that working women should stay home until Taliban fighters are “trained” on how to interact with them, NBC noted.

Reports have emerged that Taliban fighters are already kidnapping women and forcing them into marriages. Mujahid told NBC that the reports were “propaganda from the old regime. We have no evidence of a single case.”

Tags afghan women Afghanistan girls' education Kabul Taliban Women's rights

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