Former US Advisor Rina Amiri was appointed by the United States on Wednesday as an envoy to defend the rights of Afghan women. It’s the country’s step towards controlling the stringent restrictions imposed on Afghan women by the Taliban.
Amiri is an Afghan-born US scholar and an expert in mediation. She served at the US State Department under the former President of US Barack Obama. Her appointment was announced by Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Amiri will work towards defending the rights of Afghan women and girls. Blinken announced that Amiri will address the issues that are important to him and the rest of US President Joe Biden’s administration.
In a statement, Blinken said, “We desire a peaceful, stable and secure Afghanistan, where all Afghans can live and thrive in political, economic and social inclusivity.” The Taliban had imposed an orthodox brand of Islam in Afghanistan during its regime between 1996-2001. Women and girls were not allowed to get education and were banned from work. Despite several promises by the regime to not repeat the same, the Taliban has again stopped women from going to work and girls are being kept away from schools, as per reports.
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Recently, the Taliban announced that women would not be allowed to travel long distances without a male escort. Amiri had reacted to the same in her tweet before her appointment. She wrote, “I wonder how those that rehabilitated the Taliban by reassuring the world that they had evolved explain the Taliban’s reinstatement of regressive and draconian policies against women.”
There is a Ministry of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in Afghanistan that had banned televisions channels in the country to stop showing soap operas featuring women actors. Women journalists are not barred from work but they all have to wear headscarves as per the orders of the regime.
Rina Amiri reportedly left Afghanistan as a child and settled in California with her family. As a student, she spoke against the atrocities against women under the Taliban rule. Her recently published essay is also about the same. Amiri asked for a “principled yet pragmatic” diplomatic engagement with the Taliban while holding off diplomatic recognition.
Amiri has worked as a advisor for Richard Holbrooke, a US diplomat dealt with Afghanistan and Pakistan matters and has also worked for United Nations.