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Will Bali Message Move the Taliban to Change?


Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada

The International Conference on Afghan Women's Education, co-chaired by Indonesia and Qatar, convened in Bali, Indonesia on 8 December 2022 is another attempt by the international Islamic moderate nations to send a message to the Taliban for promoting equality in women’s rights.


Apart from Indonesia and Qatar other Islamic countries including Pakistan were also represented and strongly supported the resolution which called for any initiative or endeavor to create an environment conducive to the realization of an inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue towards a sustainable and lasting peace in Afghanistan that represent and serve the Afghan people in all diversity.


The Ten Points of the Resolution included the following:-


1. There was strong support for any initiative or endeavor to create an environment conducive to the realization of an inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue towards a sustainable and lasting peace in Afghanistan that represent and serve the Afghan people in all diversity.

2. Women and girls are key to the development, peace and prosperity of Afghanistan. Ensuring their full, equal and meaningful participation in the society will enable Afghanistan to achieve its full potential.

3. Women and girls in Afghanistan continue to face challenges, including their limited access to education, health facilities, freedom of movement, and working opportunities. While some of the challenges are faced by the population as a whole due to restrictive policies in Afghanistan, women and girls are disproportionately affected.

4. There was a strong call and support for the respect for the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan, including their right to education.

5. Afghanistan needs to continuously take necessary steps to improve the quality of life for Afghan women and girls and safeguarding the fulfillment of their fundamental rights, including the right to education.

6. In this regard, serious efforts and concrete actions must be taken to broaden opportunities and access for Afghan women and girls to equally benefit from formal education at all levels and various methods of learning, including in-person, virtual and distance learning methods.

7. Such objectives would be effectively attained with robust and concrete international support. The Participants welcomed the support of and commit to continue collaborate with the United Nations, the OIC, the international community, non-governmental organizations and private sectors to mobilize international support that promotesand realizes an inclusive education and training system in Afghanistan, especially for women and girls.

8. The Conference welcomed pledges and announcements of concrete collective efforts for the education of Afghan women and girls made during this Conference, including funding, in kind contributions, and scholarships, from both governments and non-governmental entities.

9. The Conference also invited greater participation of countries, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders to join this collective initiative.

10. The international community needs to work together with all relevant stakeholders in Afghanistan in developing a robust strategy for their long-term engagement in Afghanistan that will ensure effective and inclusive provision of international assistance.


How far this will move the Taliban to review the stringent restrictions on women and hold dialogue remains to be seen?


The so called Islamic Emirate insists that the international community must respect the choice of rule by Sharia by the group in power in Kabul including restrictions on women and flogging and public executions.


Much will depend on Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada the so called supreme authority of the Taliban and the clique of clergies surrounding him.

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