Top Taliban leader makes more promises on womens rights but quips naughty women should stay home

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A senior Taliban official has repeated the group’s as-yet-unfulfilled pledge to allow girls back into high school, saying there would be “good news soon,” but suggested that women who protested the regime’s restrictions on women rights should stay home.

Sirajuddin Haqqani, Afghanistan’s acting interior minister and the Taliban’s co-deputy leader since 2016, made the comments in an exclusive, first on-camera interview showing his face with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in Kabul. In March after many promises that girls would be able to attend secondary school, the Taliban reversed their decision, postponing the return indefinitely. When asked about Afghan women who say they are afraid to leave their homes under Taliban rule, and those who have reported a chilling effect of the militant group’s leadership, Haqqani added with a laugh: “We keep naughty women at home.” After being pressed to clarify his comment by Amanpour, he said: “By saying naughty women, it was a joke referring to those naughty women who are controlled by some other sides to bring the current government into question.” Haqqani also set out some parameters for the future of women and work, which will be limited by the Taliban’s interpretation of Islamic law and...

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Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, publisher, and New York Times Bestselling author of 36 books, including SWING, BECOMING MUHAMMAD ALI, co-authored with James Patterson, REBOUND, which was shortlisted for prestigious UK Carnegie Medal, The Caldecott Medal and Newbery Honor-winning picture book, THE UNDEFEATED, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, and his NEWBERY medal-winning middle grade novel, THE CROSSOVER.

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