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MEPs discuss women's rights in Afghanistan after Taliban takeover

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By Josephine Joly  & AFP, AP
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Afghan women shout slogans during an anti-Pakistan protest near the Pakistan embassy in Kabul on September 7, 2021.
Afghan women shout slogans during an anti-Pakistan protest near the Pakistan embassy in Kabul on September 7, 2021.   -   Copyright  HOSHANG HASHIMI / AFP
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MEPs have been discussing women and girls' rights in Afghanistan in light of the Taliban takeover of the country.

It happened at a joint session of the European Parliament's women's rights committee and human rights sub-committee on Monday.

They heard from Andreas Von Brandt, the EU's envoy to Afghanistan, who said the bloc has to make sure the moderate forces within the Taliban prevail. He said "negative things were happening" but that there was "no need [for] alarmism".

Brandt said "for the moment, and this needs to be verified and confirmed, there has not been a dramatic change so far, and that is a good thing", adding that the bloc needs to see how things unfold.

Afghan women's rights defenders disagreed with the ambassador's assessment and called for the EU not to be complicit in human rights abuses by turning a blind eye.

Meanwhile, female students remain fearful about their education in Afghanistan.

A school in Mazar-e Sharif saw the number of girls going to class drop by half since the Taliban took control, where normally 4,000 students would attend.

"They say you can study up to grade six, then you can't continue. But I don't like the idea of not being allowed to continue studying.

"They say they will put obstacles in the way so you can't study what you want, that girls can't become teachers or doctors," an Afghan girl said.

Watch the full video report in the player above.