International Women's Day message from Taliban sees angry backlash

International Women's Day message from Taliban sees angry backlash
The Taliban are notorious for their crackdown on women in Afghanistan.
2 min read
08 March, 2022
Women feared further restrictions on their rights after the Taliban takeover [Getty]

The Taliban have wished the women of the world a happy International Women's Day, leading to an outpouring of criticism over the Afghan movement's human rights abuses.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Abdul Qahar Balkhi Tweeted a message on Tuesday in several languages, including English, wishing women the best on the day.

Afghanistan has been ruled by the Taliban since its takeover of the country last summer and the movement has a notorious track record on the treatment of women.

"May the #8thMarch #InternationalWomensDay be auspicious for all women," he said in the tweet with an official statement.

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The statement went on to blame war in Afghanistan for the poor state of women's rights.

"Protracted wars in Afghanistan have been immensely detrimental for women," the statement read.

"IEA (Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan) is committed to addressing the plight of Afghan women, and providing facilities for an honourable and beneficial life in light of the noble religion of Islam and our accepted traditions."

The previous Taliban regime, overthrown following a US-led invasion in 2001, was notorious for its treatment of women, including enforcing the mandatory wearing of the burqa.

The Taliban have also been slammed for executing women for alleged adultery, including by stoning.

The Women Peace and Security Index for 2021/22 saw Afghanistan at the bottom of its list for the treatment of women.

People were quick to point out the hypocrisy of the Taliban statement.

"Taliban has issued a statement on women's day saying that it is committed to addressing the plight of Afghan women. Irony just died," one Twitter user wrote.

Ken Roth of Human Rights Watch wrote: "On International Women's Day, it is particularly important to remember the Afghan women now forced to live under Taliban rule, their hopes for a normal life now seriously constrained and in jeopardy."

Another Twitter user wrote: "Since it's womens history month remember that 10 years ago malala yousafzai was shot by the taliban at 14 years old because she believed that girls should have an education, the west pretended to care about this yet women in afghanistan and pakistan are still denied basic rights."

Since the Taliban takeover, the movement has detained women's rights activists and journalists, as well as enforcing strict measures on women in the country.