Earlier this week we reported on how Biden State Department spokesman Ned Price had affirmed that the United States was in agreement with the United Nations Security Council’s official statement on Afghanistan which, in part, called on the new government (which they didn’t expressly refer to by name) to be an “inclusive” one where women got a seat at the table. To recap, here’s an excerpt from the UNSC’s website:
The members of the Security Council called for an immediate cessation of all hostilities and the establishment, through inclusive negotiations, of a new Government that is united, inclusive and representative — including with the full, equal and meaningful participation of women. They underlined that institutional continuity and adherence to Afghanistan’s international obligations, as well as the safety and security of all Afghan and international citizens, must be ensured.
The statement was issued one day after the Taliban received the endorsement of Hamas, a noted pro-women’s rights* terrorist group.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who is the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, also went on record as saying the country stood by the UN’s “strongly worded press statement” demanding the Taliban respect the rights of women and to abide by humanitarian law:
🇺🇸 Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield says U.S. expressed "in no uncertain terms" at the United Nations through "a very strongly worded press statement" from the Security Council that "we expect the Taliban to respect women's rights" and "to be respectful of humanitarian law." pic.twitter.com/32TEyRFu4O
— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) August 18, 2021
I know this is going to shock a lot of folks reading this but as it turns out, it appears the Taliban aren’t too intimidated by strongly worded press statements:
DEVELOPING: Reports emerge of Taliban fighters beating women and children at a checkpoint in Kabul.
Taliban officials deny their fighters have been involved in this sort of violence, blaming the injuries on men impersonating the Taliban. https://t.co/cbc0tgbI8V
— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 18, 2021
There was also this horrifying news:
Taliban fighters shot and killed a woman for not wearing a burqa in Afghanistan on Tuesday — the same day the group pledged to usher in a new inclusive era in the country that honors “women’s rights.”
A photo emerged of a woman in Takhar province lying in a pool of blood, with loved ones crouched around her, after she was killed by insurgents for being in public without a head covering, according to Fox News.
Photo shows a woman in district Taloqan, Takhar province, lying in a pool of blood as her parents and others crouch around her, a pitcher on the ground nearby. She was shot and killed for going out without a burqa.
Taliban is still murdering and beating women 👇🏽 pic.twitter.com/w9diJVZP8E
— Aroma (@Hell_Era_2021) August 18, 2021
There are also reports alleging that women are being forced to marry Taliban terrorists:
A statement purporting to come from the Taliban circulated on social media this week ordered villagers to marry off their daughters and widows to the movement’s foot soldiers.
“All imams and mullahs in captured areas should provide the Taliban with a list of girls above 15 and widows under 45 to be married to Taliban fighters,” said the letter, issued in the name of the Taliban’s cultural commission.
A big deal is being made in some circles about the Taliban’s Monday call for women to join the government, but as is often said, the devil is in the details:
The promises of amnesty from Enamullah Samangani, a member of the Taliban’s cultural commission, were the first comments on how the Taliban might govern on a national level. His remarks remained vague, however, as the Taliban are still negotiating with political leaders of the country’s fallen government and no formal handover deal has been announced.
Samangani addressed the concerns of women, saying they were “the main victims of the more than 40 years of crisis in Afghanistan.”
“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is ready to provide women with environment to work and study, and the presence of women in different (government) structures according to Islamic law and in accordance with our cultural values,” he said.
Oh, well that explains quite a bit. None of it is good, obviously.
As I said before, while there are valid and justifiable concerns about the future of women and girls in the country after what appears to be the Taliban’s successful takeover of the country in a relatively short amount of time, the immediate priority here is not “inclusion” in government. It’s the safety and security of the Americans still left there as well as Afghans, including women and children, and the humanitarian crisis that is rapidly unfolding. Perhaps if the Biden administration had put more of an emphasis on such things in their exit strategy for Afghanistan, we wouldn’t have to worry about such matters now.
And yet here we are.
*Note: That was sarcasm for my friends who sit alongside me in the cheap seats.