Law students and lawyers in Afghanistan file reports with JURIST on the situation there after the Taliban took power. Here, a correspondent for JURIST staff in Kabul comments on a new decree on women’s rights issued by the Taliban government. For reasons of confidentiality and security, we retain the name of our correspondent. The text has only been slightly retouched to respect the author’s voice.
The Taliban-led government on Friday issued a women’s rights decree that contains basic Islamic rules regarding marriage and property. The decree does not give any order on the education and work of women, which are the two major challenges of the country.
The decree says that women should not be forced into marriage and that they are free human beings. In addition, the decree provides that women should not be considered “property” and that women and men are equal. “A woman is not property, but a noble and free human being; no one can give it to anyone in exchange for peace … or to end animosity, ”said the Taliban decree, issued by spokesman Zabihillah Muhajid. Women, according to the decree, should receive part of their late husband’s property and should be able to remarry after a specific period during which their husband dies.
In addition, the decree provides that ministries and other government agencies must follow the decree and also appoints specific ministries for specific tasks and responsibilities. Some of the responsibilities entrusted to these ministries are as follows:
– Ministry of Hajj: responsible for encouraging Islamic scholars to talk about women’s rights under this decree in mosques.
– Ministry of Information and Culture: responsible for using both visual and audio instruments to raise awareness of women’s rights in the country.
– Supreme Court: responsible for ordering all courts to give priority to applications received by women in the country taking into account any problems they face.
The governors and district heads are responsible for assisting the aforementioned government agencies in the implementation of the decree. The decree contains basic Islamic rules on women, and therefore I think it will not make any significant difference in the current situation. The decree does not privilege women with new rights and benefits. The above terms are already governed by Islamic values, rules and regulations.
The above comes after immense pressure from the international community on the Taliban government to respect women’s rights and provide them with access to education and employment in the private and public sectors.