CNN’s Clarissa Ward was told by Taliban fighters to stand to the side because she’s a woman, the latest development facing one of the few reporters visibly reporting from the streets of Afghanistan.
Business Insider reported that Ward said on air that Taliban had made the request.
“They’ve just told me to stand to the side because I’m a woman,” Ward said. She added that even though some of the Taliban members on the streets seemed friendly enough, “the welcoming spirit only extends so far, and my presence soon creates tension.”
Ward’s presence in Afghanistan as it is taken over by Taliban forces has been one of the starkest reminders that women in the country face severe hardship under terrorist rule. As The Daily Wire previously reported, Ward can now be seen wearing a black garment covering her hair. The wardrobe change was in stark contrast to what she wears while indoors on camera, though she later clarified that what she wears on the streets in Afghanistan has only changed slightly since the Taliban took control. Ward made the clarification after a photo of her wearing a normal shirt and headscarf contrasted with her new look made social media rounds earlier this week.
“The top photo is inside a private compound. The bottom is on the streets of Kabul. I always wore a head scarf on the street in Kabul previously, though not [with] hair fully covered and abbaya. So there is a difference but not quite this stark,” Ward said.
BBC News anchor and correspondent Yalda Hakim echoed the assumption that women will lose rights under the Taliban by noting women in Afghanistan are already being told to leave schools.
“Women in Herat, now under Taliban control are telling me when they tried to enter the grounds of their University today they were told to go home,” Hakim tweeted. “Women working in offices also turned away. Schools have been shut down. 60 percent of University students in Herat were women.”
Ward previously came under fire after an edited clip of her saying Taliban fighters were “just chanting ‘death to America,’ but they seem friendly at the same time.” The full clip showed Ward saying the situation was “utterly bizarre.”
On Tuesday, the Taliban claimed it would protect women’s rights, with a spokesman saying “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is ready to provide women with environment to work and study, and the presence of women in different (government) structures according to Islamic law and in accordance with our cultural values.”
The statement stands in stark contrast to what is being reported, both by BBC anchor Hakim and others.
“Local reports say Taliban fighters are already going door-to-door and forcibly marrying girls as young as 12 as Jihadist commanders order imams to create ‘marriage lists’ and offer girls for sexual servitude,” the Daily Mail reported earlier this week. “Taliban soldiers are to marry the women aged from 12 to 45 … because they view them as ‘qhanimat’ or ‘spoils of war’ — to be divided up among the victors.”