In a video that has since gone viral on social media, a Taliban member allegedly compared a woman not wearing hijab to "sliced melons" sold in a market.

The Taliban's dubious claims of protecting women's rights, especially in comparison to their former reign, have drawn worldwide criticism.

The Taliban member was seen in the video posted on Twitter by BBC Persian correspondent Zia Shahreyar, defending the need for women to wear a hijab. When and where the comments were uttered are unknown.

"Do you buy a sliced melon or an intact melon? Of course the intact one. A woman without Hijab is like a sliced melon," the unidentified Taliban member is heard saying in a local language.

Social media users have slammed the viral video for its unsuitable analogies and retrograde tone, commodifying women.

Suzanne Kianpour, a senior BBC journalist, likewise condemned the misogynist remarks made online.

"When you think about the translation of the word he's using while comparing women to sliced or intact melons' salem سالم' it means 'healthy' - so basically the Taliban thinks women without hijab are unhealthy," she said in a tweet.

"I mean you don't have to devise your women policy in the fruit section," one netizen said.

"Stop comparing us to fruits and lollipops. We are humans just like you are. We observe hijab because it's a part of our faith, not because we want validation from men," wrote another netizen.

The ultra-religious militant group is infamous for its antiquated laws restricting women's ability to work, study, and exist in public.

The Taliban had previously prohibited women from working, attending universities, or going outside without a male guardian.

In its current incarnation, the group is attempting to improve its international image by claiming to protect women's rights by allowing them to study and work. Opponents slammed the claim and proved hollow on the ground.

There have been many instances of Taliban members abusing women in public settings since the group's lightning-fast push to Kabul last month. First Post said that one fighter who pointed a gun at a lady demonstrator at a public gathering went viral on Tuesday.

In a New York Times report, a Taliban spokesperson said that women should stay indoors. The said official explained that their fighters "are not yet trained" to respect women and may attack them.

On Tuesday, the insurgents constituted a government with an all-male cabinet, which drew international critics for not being inclusive.

The US State Department, on the other hand, offered a cautious assessment of the cabinet composition, stating that the Taliban will be evaluated by their deeds.

"We understand that the Taliban has presented this as a caretaker Cabinet. However, we will judge the Taliban by its actions, not words. We have made clear our expectation that the Afghan people deserve an inclusive government," it said in an Associated Press report.

Meanwhile, the Taliban's newly appointed education minister dismissed the importance of academic credentials, calling them "invaluable."

Taliban leader Sheikh Molvi Noorullah Munir is heard saying in a tweet : "No PhD degree, Master's degree is valuable today. You see that the mullahs and Taliban that are in the power, have no PhD, MA or even a high school degree, but are the greatest of all."

Locals say some of these corpses were then transported into neighboring countries in coffins to be used as sex slaves by members of the Islamist religious-political movement. Fleeing civilians would also claim that girls were being forced to quit their jobs and schooling and into marriage or kidnapped as sex slaves and endure public flogging if not killed. This is a representational image. Getty Images

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