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    Taliban Claims They’ve Changed, Declares Men Need Women’s Consent To Marry Them

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    Laurel Duggan

    The Taliban banned forced marriages in a Friday decree, saying that women are free persons and not property.

    “Both (women and men) should be equal,” the decree said, according to ABC News. “No one can force women to marry by coercion or pressure.”

    The Taliban ordered courts to allow widows to seek the inheritance of their families and to choose who they marry after their husbands die rather than being forced to marry an in-law, ABC News reported. The Taliban reportedly seeks an end to the practice of forcing women into marriage for money or to settle disputes.

    The Taliban, which took control of Afghanistan in August, required women to wear full face and head coverings and forbade them from leaving their homes without a male relative as a chaperone during their 1996 to 2001 rule, Reuters reported.

    “A woman is not a property, but a noble and free human being; no one can give her to anyone in exchange for peace…or to end animosity,” Taliban spokesman Zabihillah Muhajid said, according to Reuters.

    The Taliban said they have changed their ways and reopened some schools for girls in the country, according to Reuters.

    The Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August after a botched American withdrawal that left hundreds of Americans stranded in the country. The group banned women from Kabul University in September.

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