By Rukhshana Media
The Taliban’s mysterious leader, who is yet to be seen in public, issued the group’s first decree on women’s rights on Friday – but there is no mention of education or work, the two areas where Afghan women and girls have faced the most restrictions.
The six-point decree which was issued by Hibatullah Akhundzadathat, the group’s leader since 2016, ordered the Taliban government to implement the rights of women mentioned in the decree.
“Adult women’s consent is necessary during Nekah/marriage,” the first decree reads, without clarifying what age constitutes adulthood according to the extremist group interpretation of Sharia.
“A woman is not a property, but a noble and free human being; no one can give her to anyone in exchange for a peace deal and or to end animosity,” the decree’s second point states, as published in English on the Twitter account of the Taliban’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid.
Three points out of six specifically address a widow’s rights to marriage, inheritance, and if they can receive a payment as “Mahar”’ from their new husbands.
The last point of the decree addresses polygamy and is particularly ambiguous. “Those with multi marriages (more than one wife) are obliged to give rights to all women in accordance with sharia law and maintain justice between them,” the last point reads, without naming the “rights” the husband is obligated to “give.”
The decree, which does not address women’s rights to education and work, comes three months after the group banned almost all women from public employment and the majority of teenage girls from attending secondary schools.
Since the Taliban’s lightning takeover of Afghanistan in mid-August, women in several provinces protested the group restrictions on women’s rights, particularly to education and work. So far, the Taliban have violently suppressed women’s protests.