Taliban replaces Ministry of Women’s Affairs with Moral Police, leaders say women should not be allowed to work in government

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN- According to reports, the Taliban has locked women staff out of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and has renamed the ministry to the “Ministries of Prayer and Guidance and the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.”

A video obtained by Reuters shows female workers that had been locked out of the newly renamed ministry.

Female employees said they had been trying to come to work for the last several weeks, only to be told to return to their homes. In a statement captured on video, one woman is heard saying:

“We say with one voice, that we do not give our ministry to anyone.

The foundation of the ministry of women has been laid for women from the beginning, and this ministry is for women. We do not give it to anyone, so please pay attention to the situation of women in Afghanistan.”

Another woman expressed that the women who worked for the ministry were widowed and poor, and made clear that she and others will be unable to provide for their families without the Ministry of Women’s Affairs. She stated:

“We as the Islamic Emirate to keep our ministry in place because this is our right and we who work in this ministry are all poor and widowed.

For example, I am the only breadwinner in my family when there is no ministry, what should an Afghan woman do? So, we demand that they keep our ministry in place so that we can work and meet the needs of our family.”

During the Taliban’s rule from 1996-2001, the Ministries of Prayer and Guidance and the promotion of Virtue and Prevention of vice became known as the “moral police.”

Reportedly, the ministry was known to strictly enforce sharia law upon women under Taliban directive. During that time, women were banned from work and education.

On September 7th, a list of cabinet posts announced by the Taliban included an acting minister for the promotion of virtue and prevention of vice and made no mention of a women’s minister. However, at the time, the group also did not confirm that the department had been disbanded.

Days later, a senior Taliban leader said that women would not be allowed to work in government ministries with men. If this is formally implemented, it would effectively bar women from employment in government offices, banks, media companies and beyond.

Waheedullah Hashimi, a senior figure in the Taliban who is close to the leadership said the group would fully implement its version of sharia, despite pressure from the international community to allow women the right to work where they want. He said:

“We have fought for almost 40 years to bring sharia law system to Afghanistan. Sharia does not allow men and women to get together or sit together under one roof. Men and women cannot work together. That is clear. They are not allowed to come to our offices and work in our ministries.”

Hashimi said the ban on women would also apply to sectors like media and banking, where women have become increasingly prominent since the Taliban fell in 2001 and Western-backed government was installed.

On September 17th, in a post on Facebook, the Taliban’s Ministry of Education announced that “all professors and students of the male class should go to schools.” The post calls into question the rights of female students who are not mentioned in the statement. 

Many have feared what the fate of women would be in Afghanistan under the rule of the Taliban after the disastrous American withdrawal under President Joe Biden. It looks as if those previous fears are rapidly becoming a present reality.

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Report: Feds suddenly trying to purge records of billions’ worth of equipment left for Taliban

September 10th, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC – The Biden administration’s failed withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan last month left billions of dollars of American taxpayer-funded military equipment, including high-tech weaponry, in the hands of the Taliban.

Now, there are reports that the Biden administration is trying to erase records of the inventory left behind.

According to media reports, some of that equipment is being used against anti-Taliban resistance in Afghanistan and Afghans who were allied with the U.S. during the long war.

Raising even more alarms are reports that some of the equipment has made its way into the hands of Iran, a country that has repeatedly threatened the existence of Israel and called for the “death of America.”

According to Kian Sharifi, a journalist with the BBC:

“An Iranian Telegram channel that covers military stories has released these ‘exclusive’ images that purportedly show Humvees and other military vehicles spotted on the Semnan-Garmsar Road in Iran.

“What I am certain of is that those are Humvees and that is an Iranian road.”

And now comes the cover-up.

The State Department admitted that Biden officials recently directed federal agencies to scrub their websites of official reports detailing the $82.9 billion in military equipment and training provided to the Afghan security forces since 2001.

Claiming the scrubbing of records was a way to protect allied Afghans left behind in Afghanistan by the U.S., a State Department spokesman said:

“The safety of our Afghan contacts is of utmost importance to us.

“The State Department advised other federal agencies of to (sic) review their web properties for content that highlights cooperation/participation between an Afghan citizen and the USG or a USG partner and remove from public view if it poses a security risk.”

According to the U.S. Government Accountability, The U.S. provided an estimated $83 billion worth of training and equipment to Afghan security forces since 2001. This year, alone, the U.S. military aid to Afghan forces was $3 billion.

OpenTheBooks.com described the problem with determining the exact value of the equipment left for the Taliban in an article in Forbes:

“Putting price tags on American military equipment still in Afghanistan isn’t an easy task. In the fog of war – or withdrawal – Afghanistan has always been a black box with little sunshine.

“Not helping transparency, the Biden Administration is now hiding key audits on Afghan military equipment. This week, our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com reposted two key reports on the U.S. war chest of military gear in Afghanistan that had disappeared from federal websites.”

Two audits that have been scrubbed are the Government Accountability Office (GAO) audit of U.S. provided military gear in Afghanistan published in August 2017 and the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) audit of $174 million in lost ScanEagle drones published in July 2020.

Both of those reports were available online before the withdrawal but have since been removed. Links to the reports are dead links.

The State Department commented on the removal:

“The State Department requested we temporarily remove and review reports on Afghanistan to protect recipients of U.S. assistance that may be identified through our reports and thus subject to retribution.”

However, the audits above gave only numerical data and provided no recipient information to endanger any person.

Claiming that the records were purged to protect the allied Afghans left behind during the withdrawal from Afghanistan is hard for some to believe. The reasoning of the Biden administration is questionable considering officials provided the Taliban with a list of names identifying Afghan citizens who aided the U.S.

In an ill-fated decision made following the Taliban takeover of Kabul, U.S. officials gave the Islamic extremist group the names of American citizens, green card holders and Afghan allies so they could be allowed to enter the Taliban-controlled perimeter around Hamid Karzai International Airport.

A US defense official told Politico:

“Basically, they just put all those Afghans on a kill list. It’s just appalling and shocking and makes you feel unclean.”

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Democrats block vote to require Biden to rescue all Americans, military equipment abandoned in Afghanistan

September 2, 2021

 

WASHINGTON, DC – House Republicans are demanding accountability for the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Freedom Caucus is demanding the President resign.

President Biden’s plan to withdraw troops from Afghanistan by an August 31 deadline fell into chaos after Afghan security forces collapsed and the Taliban took hold of the country.

Biden’s plan left thousands of Americans and allied Afghans scrambling to escape the country before the deadline, and American military forces were forced to withdraw, leaving massive stockpiles of weapons and unknown numbers of Americans and Afghans who aided in the war effort behind.

In the logjam that formed at Kabul Airport, ISIS-K terrorists detonated two suicide bombs, killing nearly 160 Afghans and 13 American service members.

On Tuesday, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), a Marine veteran who served in Iraq, attempted to bring a bill up for consideration during a pro forma session of the House to demand answers about President Joe Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan.

House Republicans also wanted to read the names of the 13 fallen service members into the record on the House floor.

Included in the bill was a request for the plan the administration has to get over 100 American citizens left behind in Afghanistan back home, a demand for an inventory of all equipment left behind, and transparency on any deals reached between the Taliban and the administration.

The bill also states that Congress believes the Taliban should not be recognized as the official government of Afghanistan.

The Democratic House chairman refused to recognize the Republicans and gaveled out the session without further action.

“How can you not read the names?” one member yelled. Another exclaimed: “Turn your back on our country.”

The move by the Democrat-controlled House did not surprise Republicans. The attempt to introduce the bill was primarily symbolic and was intended to gather support for the bill when the House returns to session on September 20.

At a press conference held following the session, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said:

“We listened to Gen. McKenzie say, ‘American troops have left Afghanistan, but we did not get out everybody we wanted to get out.’

“I heard the Pentagon say, ‘The time just wasn’t there to get more Americans out.’

“But let me be crystal clear. This isn’t the U.S. government’s timeline. It’s the Taliban’s timeline.”

The last American troops departed Afghanistan on August 30, minutes before the deadline set by President Biden. After the withdrawal of American troops was completed, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby acknowledged that American citizens were left behind:

“Americans and other individuals that want to be able to leave Afghanistan after our withdrawal is complete, the State Department is going to continue to work across many different levers to facilitate that. We do not anticipate a military role in that.”

McCarthy then called out Speaker Nancy Pelosi for allowing the House to end the session with consideration of the bill:

“Now is not the time to act like you could not see us on the floor. Now is not the time to hide. We are a co-equal branch.”

McCarthy said that the Biden administration’s handling of the withdrawal was a massive failure:

 “I believe right now we should get every American home. I believe there should be accountability for what I — what I see is probably the biggest failure in American government on the military stage in my lifetime.”

He followed up with:

“We can never make this mistake again.”

In a Tweet the same day, McCarthy wrote:

“Democrats just blocked a vote to require a plan from President Biden to bring Americans home and to account for all the military equipment he left behind.

“Republicans will not stop until every American is home safely.”

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Ranking Member James Comer (R-KY) said he plans to call the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction to brief Congress on the failed withdrawal:

“Committee Republicans invited the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction to brief Congress today, and I appreciate his willingness to come forward and his commitment to testify before the full Committee in the coming weeks.”

 

 

 

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Author: Jenna Curren


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