Under the Afghan Constitution, adopted in 2004, men and women have equal legal rights and duties. The Constitution specifically outlaws discrimination and requires a “balanced education for women.” It states that all of its provisions and laws adhere to Islamic rules and faith.

In a statement in February, the Taliban said they recognized that women have certain rights under Islam, including access to education and jobs, property inheritance and the ability to choose a husband.

The Taliban’s policy, according to the statement, which was released at a forum in Moscow, “is to protect the rights of women in a way that neither their legitimate rights are violated nor their human dignity and Afghan values are threatened.”

But the statement also described immoral and indecent influences by the West and religions that it said have encouraged women to violate Afghan customs “under the name of women’s rights.” It cited “dissemination of Western and non-Afghan and non-Islamic drama serials” as evidence of the corruption of Afghan women.