US appoints special envoy for Afghan women's rights
The US on Wednesday appointed an envoy to defend women's rights in Afghanistan. The move has come as Taliban appear to put increasing restrictions on women in the country.
Rina Amiri Rina Amiri, an Afghan-born US scholar and mediation expert who served at the State Department under former president Barack Obama, will take the role of special envoy for Afghan women, girls and human rights, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced.
After capturing power in Afghanistan, though Taliban seemed to project a liberal-than-before image, restrictions were gradually put on aspects of women's lives. Just three days ago, Taliban government said that women could not travel long distances without being accompanied by a male relative. On the same day Taliban minister for education said that co-education was against Islamic values.
US appointing a special envoy for women's rights assumed importance in this light.
"We desire a peaceful, stable and secure Afghanistan, where all Afghans can live and thrive in political, economic and social inclusivity," Blinken said in a statement.
The Taliban imposed an ultra-austere brand of Islam on Afghanistan during their 1996-2001 regime, including banning women from working and girls from education.
Despite Taliban pledges to act differently after their August takeover, many women remain barred from returning to work and girls are largely cut off from secondary schooling.
On Sunday, the Taliban said that women would not be allowed to travel long distances without a male escort and that vehicle owners should not give rides to women unless they wear headscarves.