Women’s rights advocates criticize Taliban’s invitation to Doha meeting

The “Purple Saturdays Movement,” a women’s rights group, has condemned the Taliban’s invitation to the upcoming Doha meeting and called for increased pressure on the United Nations to prevent the Taliban’s participation.

In a statement, the movement expressed frustration that, despite nearly three years of protests with the demand and slogan “Do not normalize the presence of terrorists—the Taliban in global meetings,” the UN has chosen to invite the Taliban, whom the statement describes as “violators of human rights.” The statement also criticized the United Nations and other global organizations for “engaging” with the Taliban.

“We believe that just as the Taliban has abused Islam and Sharia to secure their interests and seize political power in Afghanistan, human rights and women’s rights advocates have similarly used human rights for their own instrumental purposes,” the statement read.

The Purple Saturdays Movement claims that the UN, instead of punishing the Taliban for committing “crimes against humanity” against the people of Afghanistan, is indirectly supporting the group.

Meanwhile, a number of protesting women from northern Afghanistan have also criticized the third Doha meeting, rejecting any negotiations with the Taliban. They described the Taliban as a “mono-ethnic and mono-gender” structure.

The third round of the meeting of special envoys of various countries, hosted by the United Nations, is scheduled for June 30 in Doha. In the previous round, a delegation representing Afghan civil society activists participated; however, according to some sources, the UN has not yet decided whether to invite representatives of Afghan civil society to the third round.

Discussions on appointing a special UN representative, which was considered a key topic of this meeting, remain ambiguous.