Men-only foreign delegations to meet Taliban cause outrage.
Global powers and aid organizations who have repeatedly called for a more inclusive Afghanistan under the Taliban are now being chastised for sending all-male delegations to Kabul to engage with the hardline Islamists.
The Taliban have banned women from their new caretaker administration and imposed limitations on work and education since seizing control in August, garnering international censure.
However, in talks in the capital with Afghanistan’s new leadership, who are seeking international legitimacy, several governments and humanitarian organizations have had limited success in gaining female representation.
“Your meetings with the Taliban should be led by senior women in your teams… Women should not be left out “exiled head of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, Shaharzad Akbar.
She urged “governments and aid agencies” to “NORMALIZE Taliban’s erasure of women” in a tweet addressed to them.
Human Rights Watch’s Heather Barr compiled a list of images from the Taliban’s talks with delegations in Kabul, using the hashtag “sausageparty.”
“Foreign countries, particularly aid organizations, should set the bar high,” Barr told AFP.
“No one should allow the Taliban to believe that the world they are constructing… is normal.”
On social media, the Taliban have shared numerous of images of closed-door meetings with groups of foreign leaders, none of which include a single woman.
One of the several meetings noted was one held earlier this month on a sofa in a sumptuous room between British envoy Simon Gass and the Taliban’s interim deputy prime ministers Abdul Ghani Baradar and Abdul Salam Hanafi.
The fact that the special envoy and the chief of mission were both men, according to an official, was a coincidence.
Pakistan, which has given the Taliban advice on how to gain international support, also released photos and video of an all-male entourage accompanying the foreign minister and intelligence head to Kabul.
Fawzia Koofi, one of the negotiators in last year’s unsuccessful Doha peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, expressed her displeasure.
“When world leaders talk about women’s rights, they must also take action. They must demonstrate that they support it and that it is not merely a political statement “AFP quoted her as saying.
The multiple images of meetings between the Taliban and humanitarian organizations that appeared to follow the same pattern, according to Barr, were even more troubling.
When contacted by AFP, the organizations on her list emphasized their commitment to women’s rights and stated that they made every effort to include women in Taliban meetings.
However, a few people admitted to holding. The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.