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With no Women’s Ministry, activists demand that Taliban ensure women’s rights

Women rights activists said they expect the ministry to implement its plans to ensure women's rights in Afghanistan, as well as including women in political and social areas.

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Kabul: With the Taliban having disbanded the Women’s Ministry and replaced it with the Ministry of Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, women’s rights activists have demanded that the Taliban regime not tear down the single political forum which could represent the voices of the women of Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Propagation of Virtue has denied tearing down of the Women’s Ministry, stating that it is instead working on a plan to ensure the rights of women under the structure of the new ministry.

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“The Islamic Emirate did not remove the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, but they are arranging a framework for it,” said Sheikh Mohammad Khalid, Minister of the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice.
Since the sign on the building of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs was replaced with one for the Ministry of Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, the use of the building has also apparently changed.
Women’s rights activists have reacted strongly, saying that the Islamic Emirate should remain committed to the rights of women.

The women rights activists called on the officials of the ministry to immediately implement the plans made regarding women rights.
“We hope that the current government provides a specific address for women’s affairs, so through that their single voice would be heard,” said Mawlouda Tawana, a women rights defender, Tolo News reported.

Women rights activists said they expect the ministry to implement its plans to ensure women’s rights in Afghanistan, as well as including women in political and social areas.

“There is the decreased trust of the Afghan people, especially women, in the pledges made by the Taliban, we hope to carry on our serious and persistent struggle to ensure the rights of Afghan women,” said Mariam Maroof Arvien, a women’s rights activist.

Officials of The Ministry of Propagation of Virtue and Prevention Of Vice have downplayed the whole affair, calling the former Women’s Ministry as little more than a symbolic institute. They also said that they are now working on new plans which will give women the right to work under the supervision of this institution.

“Our aim is to prepare a place in the Bagh-e-Shahr Ara, which is 13 acres of land, where women get together and carry out activities that agree with Islamic principles and Afghan values,” said Akif Mahajer, spokesperson for the Ministry of Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice.

One of the conditions of the international community to recognize the government of the Islamic Emirate is that they maintain the rights of women and give them the right to work.

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