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Taliban Faces Global Criticism For Sending Male-Only Delegation To Kabul

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Since seizing power in August, the Taliban have excluded women from their new caretaker government and put restrictions on work and education, drawing condemnation from the outside world.

Global powers and aid groups that have loudly demanded an inclusive Afghanistan under the Taliban are now facing criticism for sending all-male delegations to Kabul to meet the hardline Islamists.

Since seizing power in August, the Taliban have excluded women from their new caretaker government and put restrictions on work and education, drawing condemnation from the outside world.

But female representation has been little better among some governments and aid groups in their meetings in the capital with Afghanistan’s new rulers, who are seeking international recognition.

“Senior women in your teams should be leading your interactions with the Taliban… Don’t exclude women,” said Shaharzad Akbar, the exiled head of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.

In a tweet addressing “governments and aid agencies”, she called on them to “NOT NORMALISE Taliban’s erasure of women.

The Taliban have posted dozens of photos on social media of closed-door meetings

Heather Barr from Human Rights Watch created a list, under the hashtag “sausageparty”, of pictures posted by the Taliban of their meetings with delegations in Kabul.

“Foreign countries and especially aid organisations should be leading by example,” Barr told AFP.

“No one should let the Taliban think that this kind of men-only world that they are creating… is normal.”

The Taliban have posted dozens of photos on social media of closed-door meetings with groups of foreign representatives, showing not a single woman.

Among the many meetings highlighted was one earlier this month between British envoy Simon Gass and the Taliban’s interim deputy prime ministers Abdul Ghani Baradar and Abdul Salam Hanafi, seated on a sofa in a lavish room.

An official told AFP it was a coincidence that the special envoy and head of mission were both men.

Pakistan, which has advised the Taliban on how to win international backing, also posted pictures and video of an all-male group accompanying the foreign minister and intelligence chief to Kabul.

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