The latest: In some action against the Taliban’s regressive decrees and hardline governing policies, the European Union imposed sanctions on two senior Taliban government members accusing them of women’s rights violations.
- The sanctions can include asset freezes and travel bans. The two acting Taliban government Ministers are accused of issuing decrees that restrict the rights of women and girls.
- In addition, individuals and entities in the EU will be prohibited from providing funds directly or indirectly to those listed.
- EU condemned Neda Mohammad Nadim, Taliban’s acting minister of higher education, and Mohammad Khaled Hanafi, acting minister of the Ministry of Vice and Virtue, are involved in serious human rights abuses, particularly violence against women in Afghanistan.
- “We are enhancing efforts to counter sexual and gender-based violence, to ensure that those responsible are fully accountable for their actions, and to combat impunity,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.
- It added that it reaffirms its determination to promote and protect human rights around the world.
- This is the first time that the EU has adopted measures to defend women’s rights around the world, a move that coincided with the eve of International Women’s Day.
Why it matters? The Taliban have imposed harsh measures since taking power in August 2021. They have banned women from public life and education for girls beyond the sixth grade.
- The Taliban’s Foreign Ministry had previously said that members of the UN Security Council “should not use sanctions as a pressure tool”.
- It should be noted that the Taliban’s decree banning the education, education and work of girls and women has been accompanied by widespread domestic and foreign reactions.
Zoom out: As the European Union announced its embargo and criticized the poor human rights situation in Afghanistan at the UN Human Rights Council on Monday, the Taliban has tried to offer a different take on its discriminatory policies. Among other things, the Taliban’s minister of higher education said the ban on women and girls’ education was “temporary.”
- Despite new European sanctions, the Taliban’s minister of higher education on Tuesday defended the group’s policies on women, saying it “does not accept anyone’s orders”.
- According to him, no one has as much compassion for women as Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada, the leader of the Taliban. This comes even as the Taliban reopened the gates of universities for male students on Monday but denied female students from entering the premises leaving them without education for another academic session.