The foreign ministry in the Republic of Cyprus said non-discrimination against women and girls in Afghanistan should be an “immediate priority” while there was wide skepticism over Taliban’s latest amnesty comments.
A tweet from the Cypriot foreign ministry expressed extreme concern on Monday evening over developments in Afghanistan, especially regarding women and girls.
“Ensuring calm, safety & non-discrimination against women & girls must be amongst immediate priorities," the ministry said.
The statement was made Monday night after comments on social media following reports of women saying they were scared over the developments.
Hours earlier, thousands of Afghans rushed into Kabul’s main airport, with some literally holding onto a military plane and plunging to their deaths as the aircraft took off.
Stories of women fearing for their lives emerged after a bloodless Taliban-takeover in Kabul.
The men standing around were making fun of girls and women, go and put on your burqa one called out, it is your last days of being out said another, I will marry four of you in one day, said a third
In one case, reported by The Guardian, a woman at a university was shocked to learn Sunday morning that police were evacuating the campus because the Taliban had arrived in Kabul “and they will beat women who do not have a burqa.”
“We all wanted to get home, but we couldn’t use public transport. The drivers would not let us in their cars because they did not want to take responsibility for transporting a woman,” she said.
On Tuesday the Taliban declared an “amnesty” across Afghanistan and urged women to join its government, according to the Associated Press, in an effort to “calm nerves across a tense capital city that only the day before saw chaos at its airport as people tried to flee their rule.”
“The Islamic Emirate doesn’t want women to be victims,” said Enamullah Samangani, a member of the Taliban’s cultural commission, whose remark was believed to be the first comments on governance at a federal level across the country.
“They should be in government structure according to Shariah law,” Samangani said referring to women.
But there was high degree of skepticism amongst the population, with many Afghanis thinking back to Taliban’s past with public beatings, forced marriages, and executions taking place to punish those offending the militant group’s rules.
Samangani said that “people are Muslims and we are not here to force them to Islam,” with foreign media picking up on a lack of clarity when the official implied that people already knew the rules of Islamic law the Taliban would expect them to follow.
But women and girls had more reasons to worry as there were signs of trouble ahead embedded within cultural domains in Afghanistan.
The female university student in The Guardian’s story had remarked that women had been confused as to where they needed to go on Sunday amid the chaos and confusion, especially if they were from outside Kabul and had been living on campus.
“Meanwhile, the men standing around were making fun of girls and women, laughing at our terror,” she said.
“Go and put on your chadari [burqa],” one called out.
“It is your last days of being out on the streets,” said another. “I will marry four of you in one day,” said a third.