Taliban Governance Policy
- The Taliban is an Islamic fundamentalist group that previously ruled Afghanistan from 1996-2001.
- Haibatullah Akhundzada has served as the Taliban's supreme leader since 2016. He publicizes very few announcements and has not made a public appearance in years, causing many to wonder if he is still alive.
- With Akhundzada operating infrequently and in the shadows, Abdul Ghani Baradar serves as the Taliban's top political official, responsible for managing negotiations, such as those in Doha, and maintaining the Taliban movement.
- Historically, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates are the only countries to have acknowledged the Taliban regime as a legitimate ruling government.
- Taliban policies specifically stripped women and girls of their fundamental rights. Under Taliban rule:
- Female education was banned or largely restricted, and women could not join the workforce.
- Women were not allowed to receive healthcare services from a man; with a male-only workforce, this means women were essentially excluded from healthcare entirely.
- Women were not allowed to leave the house without being 1) in full niqab dress and 2) accompanied by their male guardian.
- Girls as young as 12 years old were allowed to be sold into sex slavery.
- When Taliban social or religious policies were broken, the regime has been known to respond with corporal punishment and public killings.
- During the Taliban's previous rule, Afghanistan became increasingly impoverished, partially because women could not contribute economically.
- Additionally, prioritization of opium farming, combined with a controlled economy, led to food insecurity and mass malnutrition, especially among children.
- Increases in child and infant mortality signaled a regression in human development under the Taliban regime.
- In a modernizing world, the Taliban has developed the policy of restricting various forms of global connections, such as banning television and smartphone usage.
- On Tuesday, August 17, 2021, the Taliban's spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid, held a press conference in an attempt to ease global concerns. Although he vowed that the Taliban would protect women, prevent terrorism, and reconcile with domestic opposition, foreign governments and human rights organizations strongly distrust the validity of this statement.