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Return of Taliban in Afghanistan harmful for women’s rights: US report



As the US troops withdraw from Afghanistan, experts fear the Taliban’s return to the South Asian country will undo all the progress made in women’s rights and equality over the years.

These fears were noted in a two-page National Intelligence Council document that claims the views of the Taliban leaders and members have not changed since 2001 — when the US intervened to restore peace in Afghanistan.

“The Taliban remains broadly consistent in its restrictive approach to women’s rights and would roll back much of the past two decades’ progress if the group regained national power,” the report claims.

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Taliban was infamous for imposing old-age unequal decisions on women and keeping them away from studies and not allowing them to step out even for work.

The declassified report by the US intelligence warns that there has been very little, if any, change in Taliban’s leadership and the group still remains “inflexible” for any such negotiations and “enforces strict social constraints in areas that it already controls”.

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“If the Taliban were again Afghanistan’s dominant power, we assess that any prospect for moderating the group’s policies toward women would lie with ethnic minorities’ ability to maintain local variation and technological development,” the report said.

While some groups have publically announced plans to respect women’s rights, they have also added the condition of doing so only as a condition of Taliban’s fundamentalist interpretation of Sharia law, or Islamic law, the report claimed.

The US intelligence feels international pressure is crucial to maintain the progress of women’s rights in the country, with or without the return of Taliban in the area.

“The Taliban’s desires for foreign aid and legitimacy might marginally moderate its conduct over time,” the report read. However, if the group returns back to power in Afghanistan, it will prioritise “extending control on its own terms”.

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