Taliban liberation decree saying women must consent to marriage – .

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Taliban liberation decree saying women must consent to marriage – .


ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – The Afghan Taliban government issued a women’s rights decree on Friday that states that women should not be considered “property” and must consent to marriage, but does not mention women’s access to education or work outside the home.
The Taliban have come under pressure from the international community, which has mostly frozen funds for Afghanistan, to pledge to stand up for women’s rights since the die-hard Islamist group took control of the country on August 15.

“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.

It set out the rules governing marriage and women’s property, stating that women should not be forced into marriage and that widows should have a share of their late husbands’ property.

Courts should heed the rules when making decisions, and ministries of religious affairs and information should promote these rights, according to the decree.

However, he made no mention of the possibility for women to work or access facilities outside the home or education, which have been major concerns of the international community.

During its previous regime from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban prohibited women from leaving home without male relatives and fully covering their faces and heads, and girls from receiving an education.

The Taliban say they have changed and that girls’ high schools in some provinces have been allowed to open. But many women and human rights defenders remain skeptical.

The international community, which has frozen billions of central bank funds and development spending, has made women’s rights a key component of any future engagement with Afghanistan.

The country, which is also suffering from a bank liquidity crisis as the treasury dries up due to sanctions, faces the risk of economic collapse since the Taliban took power.

(Reporting by Charlotte Greenfield; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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