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Afghanistan: Women must accept 'man's world' as they are not equal, says Taliban education minister

Neda Mohammad Nadim remarked that a male is "the ruler" and he has the authority that should be accepted by women. He said that despite efforts of the West towards gender equality, men and women are fundamentally unequal.

Aveek Banerjee Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Kabul Published on: October 01, 2023 19:05 IST
Afghan women have been denied civil liberties since the
Image Source : AP Afghan women have been denied civil liberties since the Taliban came to power.

The acting higher education minister of Afghanistan's Taliban government, Neda Mohammad Nadim, has recently remarked that despite efforts made by Western countries for gender equality, men and women are "not equal".

Speaking at a meeting at the Baghlan University, Nadim said that there were attempts being made to "demolish" the current system under the pretext of addressing concerns related to women, Afghan-based TOLO News reported.

"The Almighty Allah has distinguished between men and women. A male is the ruler, he has the authority, he must be obeyed, and the woman must accept his world. A woman is not equal to a man; however, they [Western nations] have placed her above a man," he said at the meeting.

Nadim said that the responsibility of the government is to act with "good behaviour" for the betterment of the people whilst providing security and justice. "This is the responsibility of the Islamic Emirate: to treat the people well," he added.

Some professors and students of Baghlan University asked Nadim to create a suitable educational environment in universities, in terms of facilities and equipment.

Women under Taliban rule

It is worth noticing that since coming to power in 2021 after the withdrawal of US and NATO forces, the Taliban has imposed a series of harsh restrictions on Afghan women and girls, including stopping them from going to school and prohibiting Afghan women from employment at local and non-governmental organisations. 

Taliban employs a different interpretation of the centuries-old Sharia law, which includes public executions, amputations and flogging. Women's access to public parks has already been restricted and they now require a male guardian for long-distance travel. The harsh measures on women have triggered international outrage and concerns over human rights violations, especially in Muslim-majority countries.

Earlier this month, the Taliban authorities prohibited girls older than 10 from going to elementary school classes in certain areas of Afghanistan. Authorities from the Taliban-administered Ministry of Education told principals of schools and short-term training classes in the Ghazni region that "any girl more than 10 years old isn't permitted to study in elementary schools

Prior to that, Afghanistan banned women's beauty parlors in Kabul and different territories across the nation. It said that the salons offered services forbidden by Islam and also caused economic hardships for grooms' families during wedding festivities. 

In April, in another diktat by the Taliban, authorities prohibited women from attending the Eid celebrations. This ban has been put in place in two provinces of Afghanistan, according to reports. Women in Baghlan and Takhar have been prohibited from going out in groups during Eid-ul-Fitr.

(with agency inputs)

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