The Taliban appointed more men to their interim Afghan government, despite past promises and international demands to include women.
On Tuesday, spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the new ministers were chosen for their technical skills in the areas they will oversee. They include men from ethnic minorities in the Panjshir, Baghlan, and Sar-e-Pul regions, a step toward geographic and ethnic representation the new government promised to implement.
The announcement of additional male ministers came after a Taliban spokesman said on Afghanistan's Tolo News that women are incapable of holding government positions and that true Afghan women bear children and teach them Islamic morals.
The current Taliban leadership includes many of the same religious extremists who headed the country between 1996 and 2001. They have reinstituted the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, which enforces a harsh interpretation of Sharia law, and disbanded the Women's Affairs Ministry.
Western countries, such as the United States, said that they would not recognize the Taliban government as legitimate and might refuse to send aid money unless the Taliban proved to be inclusive of women and ethnic minorities. The Taliban have thus far refused to capitulate to international pressure to appoint women but continue to say they might appoint some in the future. The current administration is still only interim, Taliban spokesmen have claimed.
Boys in seventh grade to 12th were allowed to return to school this week, but the Taliban did not make the same allowance for girls of the same age. Mujahid said that the decision of when and how girls may return to school is still pending, depending on decisions made by the terrorist group's Islamic scholars. The Taliban allowed some women to return to university if the classes were separated by gender and women abided by conservative Islamic dress code.
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