Afghanistan's Taliban needs to meet its commitments to get legitimacy: White House

A Taliban-appointed minister reiterated that 'men and women are not equal'

AFGHANISTAN-CONFLICT/EDUCATION Afghan women chant slogans in protest against the closure of universities to women by the Taliban in Kabul, Afghanistan, December 22, 2022. REUTERS/Stringer NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

Two days after a Taliban-appointed Afghanistan minister reiterated that 'men and women are not equal' based on Sharia, the White House has said, the Taliban needs to meet its commitments to get legitimacy from the international community.

We've not recognised them as a governing power in Afghanistan. They want that. They want legitimacy. Then they need to meet their commitments, John Kirby, Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council in the White House, told reporters at a news conference here on Tuesday.

I mean, how can you effectively govern, how can you effectively have a useful economy when basically half your workforce, all women, are prohibited from being a part of that process?  So, we're going to keep holding them accountable for their commitments, he said in response to a question.

On October 1, Taliban-appointed Afghanistan's acting education minister Neda Mohammad Nadim said that 'men and women are not equal' based on Sharia and expressed concerns that attempts are being made to dismantle the current system under the pretext of addressing women's issues, according to a report by TOLO News. Nadim further emphasised the adherence to Sharia principles in the educational system. The Almighty Allah has distinguished between men and women. A male is the ruler, he has the authority, he must be obeyed, and the woman must accept his world. A woman is not equal to a man; however, they (Western nations) have placed her above a man, TOLO News quoted him as speaking during a meeting at Baghlan University in Afghanistan. The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in August 2021 and immediately after, put a ban on women's education and also on women working except in some trades. Many countries, including the US and India, are yet to recognise the Taliban set-up and have been pitching for the formation of a truly inclusive government in Kabul.

Asked if this (not recognising the Taliban as the governing power in Afghanistan) means that the US will not have any conversation with the Taliban, Kirby replied, Of course not. We're still working to try to get our allies and partners in Afghanistan out. That takes conversation. It takes dialogue.

But it's important to the United States to keep meeting our word to the people who helped us for 20 years.  And does it mean that we don't still have shared counterterrorism threats? Absolutely, we do.  And the Taliban has been fighting against ISIS-K, particularly inside their country, Kirby said. 

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