Taliban spokesperson, Suhail Shaheen in a Friday, September 3 interview demanded respect for the now the leader of Afghanistan’s culture.
“There will be no issue about the women’s rights. No problem about their education, their work,” the top spokesperson for the new Afghan government told Fox News.
“But we should not be after changing each other’s culture as we are not intending to change your culture, you should not be changing our culture,” Shaheen stressed.
The Taliban had promised to be less extreme in its gender policies this time while controlling the country, but doubts and fear still remain. In the 1990s, women were barred from nearly all public associations and could only venture outside with male relatives beside them.
It had been known that female scholars can still pursue their education this time, but each gender would study in separate classes, and male teachers are forbidden to teach female students.
Before the Friday statements, on Thursday, a group of Afghan women staged a protest demanding their rights for education, noting that they were willing to wear the burqas, according to CBS News.
“We are here to ask for our rights,” one female demonstrator said. “We are even ready to wear burqas if they tell us, but we want the women to go to school and work.”
In the interview with Fox News, Shaheen noted that a new history had begun as the U.S. military left Afghanistan, and it was time to move on.
“We have closed one chapter. For us it was occupation. We ended that, we were staging resistance. But now it is closed,” he said. “It is the past.”
“We have to focus on the future that is better for them and for us,” the spokesman said.
The Taliban is soon to announce its new government frame in Kabul. Meanwhile, it has been rumored that Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is slated to become the leader of the country now renamed as Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
According to Reuters, the new government will be made up entirely of Taliban members, with 25 departments and a consultative council of a dozen Muslim experts.
Baradar will be joined at the highest ranks by Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, the son of late Taliban co-founder Mullah Omar, several sources confirmed with the news media.
The protest for women’s rights in Afghanistan also demanded female presence in the cabinet, noting that by far meetings and decision-making had been entirely out of women participants.
“The talks are ongoing to form a government, but they are not talking about women’s participation,” Basira Taheri, one of the rally’s organizers said. “We want to be part of the government — no government can be formed without women. We want the Taliban to hold consultations with us.”
The demonstration, which extended until Friday, had not been spared from Taliban attempts to control the crowd. At least one woman was reported as beaten.