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"Woman Can't Be A Minister... They Should Give Birth": Taliban

The Taliban announced an all-male cabinet for its interim government on Tuesday.

Women can't be ministers, they should give birth, a Taliban spokesperson has said in an interview, reinforcing the perception that the hardline group's claims of a new improved version since its brutal rule in Afghanistan in the 1990s are false.

The comments by Taliban spokesperson Sayed Zekrullah Hashimi to TOLO News on the new Afghan government missing women ministers, have been widely shared on social media.

"A woman can't be a minister, it is like you put something on her neck that she can't carry. It is not necessary for women to be in the cabinet - they should give birth. Women protesters can't represent all women in Afghanistan," Hashimi told TOLO news.

The interviewer countered: "Women are half of the society."

Hashimi replied: "But we do not consider them half. What kind of half? The half itself is misdefined here. The half means here that you keep them in the cabinet and nothing more. And if you violate her rights, not an issue. Over the last 20 years, whatever was said by this media, the US, and its puppet government in Afghanistan, was it anything but prostitution in offices?"

You can't accuse all women of prostitution, the interviewer interjected.

"I do not mean all Afghan women. The four women protesting in the streets, they do not represent the women of Afghanistan. The women of Afghanistan are those who give birth to the people of Afghanistan, educates them on Islamic ethics," said the spokesperson.

On why he thought women could not be ministers, Hashimi said: "What a woman does, she cannot do the work of a ministry. You put something on her neck that she cannot carry."

The Taliban announced an all-male cabinet for its interim government on Tuesday, with hardliners and globally wanted terrorists in key ministries.

Ever since its takeover of Kabul on August 15, the group known for its oppressive regime 20 years ago, has tried to distance itself from its old policies of excluding women from work and education. But there has been a mismatch between its words and actions.

The Taliban said under new rules, women may work "in accordance with the principles of Islam". Women can also study at university in classrooms that are segregated by sex, but they must wear an abaya robe and niqab covering most of the face.