Although the norm establishes that women must consent to marriage, it does not specify a minimum age for marriage nor does it guarantee rights in matters related to work and education.
On Friday, the Taliban supreme leader Haibatullah Akhundzada issued a special decree regarding women's rights and directed relevant authorities to take actions to safeguard these rights.
"The Islamic Emirate's leadership directs all relevant institutions, Ulema-e Karam (scholars), and tribal elders to take serious action to enforce women's rights," Afghan caretaker government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said, adding that women's consent is necessary during marriage and no one can force women to marry by coercion or pressure.
"A woman is not a property, but a noble and free human being; no one can give her to anyone in exchange for peace deal and or to end animosity," the decree said.
No one can marry a widow by force including her relatives and a widow has the right to marry or to choose her future, the decree added. A widow has the heritage right and fixed share in the property of her husband, children, father and relatives, and no one can deprive a widow of her right.
Those with multi marriages (more than one wife) are obliged to give rights to all women in accordance with Islamic law, and maintain justice between them. Besides instructing the Information and Culture Ministry to publish articles related to women's rights, the Taliban leader called on governors and district chiefs to cooperate with the relevant ministries and the Supreme Court in the implementation of decree.
“This is big, this is huge… if it is done as it is supposed to be, this is the first time they have come up with a decree like this,” the Afghan Women’s Skills Development Center director Mahbouba Seraj said, as reported by Reuters.
"The international community, which has frozen billions of dollars in funds for Afghanistan, has made women’s and human rights a key element of any future engagement with Afghanistan... Even before the Taliban took over, Afghan politicians had struggled to form such a clear policy on women’s rights around marriage," Aljazeera recalled.