Taliban must respect women’s rights, and there’s an easy way to ...

World

Taliban must respect women’s rights, and there’s an easy way to force it to

Women should make up half of foreign delegations, each of which should insist women are among Taliban negotiators

Bobby Ghosh

Two and a half months since the fall of Kabul, the international community has yet to figure out how to stop Afghanistan’s new masters from imposing harsh restrictions on women’s freedoms. Yet one shift in the way negotiators handle their dealings with the Taliban would go a long way towards holding the regime accountable. 

Having promised to make the Taliban stick to its promises of inclusivity, US President Joe Biden’s administration is under pressure to make the resumption of American aid conditional on the protection of women’s rights. The issue is also routinely raised by other government delegations, the UN and aid agencies that have made their way to Kabul since mid-August, seeking reassurances that the new regime won’t go back on its word. 

It isn’t only the liberal West that sees the Taliban’s treatment of women as an early indicator of how the movement will rule. Even China, perhaps the most eager of the world powers to do business with the regime, has admonished the Taliban’s leaders to preserve women’s rights...

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