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'A Woman Can't be a Minister': Taliban Spokesperson Sayed Zekrullah Hashimi

"The women of Afghanistan are those who give birth to the people of Afghanistan," said the Taliban spokesperson

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"A woman can't be a minister, it is like you put something on her neck that she can't carry. It is not necessary for women to be in the cabinet – they should give birth. Women protesters can't represent all women in Afghanistan."

These comments came from Taliban spokesperson Sayed Zekrullah Hashimi in an interview with TOLO News, an Afghanistan TV news station on Friday, 10 September, after Afghan women began taking to the streets and demanding equal rights and recognition.

When the interviewer pointed out that women constitute half the population of Afghanistan, Hashimi responded by saying that they (Taliban) do not consider the protesters to represent that half of the population.

‘Protesting Women Do Not Represent Afghanistan’

Women in Kabul and other cities in Afghanistan have taken to the streets and have staged protests demanding equal rights and recognition in work and education.

However, the Taliban forces have responded to the protests by beating protesters and snatching away posters. Videos captured on social media show Taliban fighters lashing out with whips against women and men.

According to Hashimi, the women protestors do not represent the women of Afghanistan.

"I do not mean all Afghan women. The four women protesting in the streets, they do not represent the women of Afghanistan. The women of Afghanistan are those who give birth to the people of Afghanistan, educates them on Islamic ethics," said the spokesperson.

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No Women in the New Taliban Caretaker Cabinet

Three weeks after the Taliban captured Afghanistan on 15 August, they announced a new acting cabinet, which will be governing the country. However, the cabinet is a far cry from the “inclusive” and “representative” government that the militant group had earlier claimed it would establish.

There are no women in the new cabinet and there is minimal representation of ethnic minorities.

The cabinet comprises of 33 members, 17 of whom have been designated as terrorists by various countries and international organisations, including the new Prime Minister Mullah Hasan Akhund.

(With inputs from NDTV)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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