Taliban’s religious scholar and tribal elders grand gathering, which is to be held tomorrow at the Loya Jirga Hall in Kabul, will convene without the participation of women, said the deputy prime minister of the Taliban, Mawlawi Abdul Salam Hanafi, on Wednesday.
Mawlawi Abdul Salam Hanafi, the deputy prime minister of the Taliban, in an interview with the state run National Television, stated that the meeting will be attended by over 3,000 religious scholars, tribal elders, intellectuals, influential figures and national traders on Thursday.
When prompted whether women could attend the Taliban’s grand gathering, deputy minister Hanafi responded that male delegates would speak on their behalf.
“The women are our mothers, sisters, we greatly respect them, when their sons are in the gathering it signifies that they are also involved, in a way, in the gathering,” he said.
The senior Taliban official responded that the assembly was called at the Ulema’s request and that the Taliban organized it so that they could discuss a variety of topics, including but not limited to the Islamic regime, national unity, and the improvement of economic and social affairs, to the question regarding the gathering’s agenda.
The top Taliban official expressed hope as he said that the group expects a positive outcome from the gathering and that more of these events would be arranged in the future.
According to civil society groups, if women are not present, the gathering will not be legitimate.
However, it still remains unclear what issues would be discussed at the gathering and whether the issue of reopening girls’ schools and women rights are included in the agenda.