The Afghan Taliban, widely criticized for its misogynistic and antiquated outlook on women, may be on the cusp of easing some of its ultra-conservative ideologies, activists say. At an informal peace conference in Qatar last week, an Afghan delegation that included three women reportedly told activists that the group is open to supporting some women’s causes — like education. Some Taliban members reportedly vowed to support women being educated up to the university level and said they would permit women to work outside the home “even in male-dominated fields like engineering,” a representative from Human Rights Watch said in a statement. During the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan from 1996-2001, women completely marginalized in society there, so we’ll believe this when we see it. Indeed, some activists who attended the talks were skeptical of the claims made by Taliban representatives.
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