In a recent decree, the Taliban ruled that women in Afghanistan should wear one of three veils: burqas, niqabs or afghans. The order is meant to be implemented with immediate effect and will apply across all public places including schools and universities. These measures were part of an effort by the group’s leader – Mullah Akhtar Mansour- to prevent “immoral activities”.
The Taliban has ordered women to cover their faces. This is a new step in the Taliban’s attempt to make Afghanistan more conservative. Read more in detail here: afghanistan.
The Taliban ordered Afghan women to cover their faces in public and stay at home on Saturday, the latest restrictions they have placed on women since seizing control last year.
The Taliban’s Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice issued the directive, which states that women must wear “appropriate hijab,” an Islamic idea of modesty that applies to women’s clothes, anytime they are in public situations.
Afghanistan is a profoundly traditional society, and even before the Taliban took power in August, the vast majority of women dressed modestly.
Headscarves and flowy, fully-covering clothing are virtually usually worn by women. Face coverings are less frequent in major cities like Kabul, especially among younger and educated women.
According to the decree’s language, “women, unless they are extremely young or very elderly, must hide their faces save for their eyes anytime they encounter or meet an unrelated male,” which includes most public settings.
A ceremony in Kabul on Saturday brought together directors from the Taliban’s Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice’s several provincial offices.
The directive also encourages women to remain at home, stating that “the ideal method to follow hijab is to not leave the house until absolutely essential.”
The face-covering law applies to all women of reproductive age, starting when they are teens, according to Akif Muhajir, a spokeswoman for the ministry of vice and virtue. Mr. Muhajir said that these women now have two alternatives for clothing: the traditional Afghan blue burqa, which has a lace grill over the eyes, or the niqab, a black veil with a slit for the eyes worn over a loose black gown.
No other nation now requires women to wear such a rigid interpretation of Islamic attire. Repeat perpetrators face prison term, which includes the women’s male relatives. If the few remaining female public officials disobey the regulations, they will be sacked, according to the edict.
The mandate angered Shahrbanu Hassanzada, a 48-year-old mother of five children.
“All of these women’s limitations are an injustice,” she remarked. “Rather than these hijab requirements, the Taliban should concentrate on women’s education and development.”
The Taliban, according to Marwa Stanikzai, a 32-year-old female dentist, are “returning women to the Stone Age.”
“I am a doctor, well-educated, and I am aware that none of these principles are found in the Quran,” Islam’s sacred book.
During a March rally in Kabul, Afghan women and girls demanded the reopening of girls’ high schools.
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images/ahmad sahel arman
The headscarf is mandated by Islam, according to the regulation. The proclamation is the latest in a series of increasingly harsh regulations aimed at girls and women implemented by the Taliban since seizing power in Afghanistan.
Teenage females are not permitted to attend school. The majority of female public workers were denied employment. When traveling outside of their hometown or overseas, women must be accompanied by a male relative, or mahram. Both university classrooms and public parks are gender separated.
“If our hijab distracts males, the Taliban should govern men, not women,” said Najla Mastoor, an 18-year-old who has been restricted to her house since the Taliban closed girls’ secondary schools, including her own. “Women always have to pay the price for males.”
The international world is keeping a careful eye on the Taliban’s treatment of women. The Taliban promised to preserve women’s rights within the context of Islam when they initially gained control of Afghanistan. It was part of a larger campaign to portray themselves as more moderate than they were in power in the 1990s, when Afghanistan was politically and economically isolated.
Since then, however, the movement’s most religiously orthodox factions have pushed their influence on policy more firmly, confirming many Afghans’ darkest worries about what life would be like under Taliban leadership.
Many Taliban members have complained that their leadership has lost touch with the people after 20 years of conflict, and have warned that such measures risk alienating the Afghan public.
Women’s restrictions are already making it more difficult for Afghanistan to get political legitimacy and the financial aid it needs to confront its crippling economic crisis.
The World Bank stopped development projects worth $600 million in March when the Taliban broke their pledge to reopen schools for females beyond sixth grade, citing the group’s inability to protect women’s rights. The Taliban administration has yet to be recognized as legitimate by any nation.
Margherita Stancati can be reached at [email protected]
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