Taliban bans forced marriages in Afghanistan

Taliban bans forced marriages in Afghanistan

Women’s forced marriages were outlawed in Afghanistan by the Taliban-led interim government on Friday. Hibatullah Akhunzada, the Taliban’s top commander, declared in a special order that men and women “shall be equal.”

“A woman is not property, but a noble and free human being,” the decree read, adding that “no one can trade her to anyone in exchange for a peace treaty or the cessation of hostilities.”

A widow has the “title to heritage and fixed portion in the property of her husband, children, father, and relatives,” according to the Taliban leader.

Those who have several wives must “provide rights to all women in accordance with sharia law, and maintain justice between them,” he added.

The statement comes amid a looming humanitarian crisis aggravated by the US’s blockade of billions of dollars in Afghan reserves following the withdrawal of foreign forces in August.

The Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs has been asked to “encourage scholars” to spread “awareness to the people about women’s rights,” while the Ministry of Information and Culture has been asked to “publish studies related to women’s rights in writing and audio and encourage writers and activists to publish valuable pieces on women’s rights.”

Western governments, on the other hand, are pressuring the Taliban to allow girls to attend school.

The Supreme Court was petitioned by Akhunzada to issue instructions to courts to “examine the application for women’s rights.”

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