The Taliban says women must wear a head-to-toe burka in public – otherwise their “male guardian” could face up to three days in jail
Women wearing burqas wait to receive free bread distributed during the Save Afghans from Hunger campaign in Kabul on January 18, 2022. (Photo by Wakil KOHSAR/AFP)
The Afghan Taliban leadership has ordered all women to wear a head-to-toe burka in public, officials said.
The move evokes similar restrictions imposed on women during the previous repressive Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001.
What did the Taliban say?
“We want our sisters to live dignified and safe lives,” said Khalid Hanafi, the Taliban’s acting minister of ethics and responsibility.
Shir Mohammad, an official from the ministry in charge and ethics, said: “For all formal Afghan women, wearing Hajib is necessary and the best Hajib is chadori (head-to-toe burka), a traditional part our traditions and are respected.
“Women who are neither too old nor too young must cover their faces, except for their eyes.”
The decree added that if women don’t have important things to do outside, they’d better stay at home.
“Islamic principles and Islamic ideology are more important to us than anything else,” said Hanafi.
If a woman fails to comply with the new rule, the ordinance says her “male guardian” could face up to three days in prison.
International response: ‘growing assault on women’s rights’
Heather Barr, senior fellow on Afghanistan at Human Rights Watch, called on the international community to work together to put pressure on the Taliban.
“(It’s) the past time for a serious and strategic response to the Taliban’s growing attack on women’s rights,” she wrote on Twitter.
Shaharzad Akbar, former chairman of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, wrote: “So much pain and mourning for the women of my country, my heart feels like it’s going to explode. Lots of hatred and anger against the Taliban, enemies of women, enforcers of sexism, enemies of Afghanistan and humanity. The world is an outsider of our pain, to the apartheid regime, to the completion of tyranny. “
Who are the Taliban?
The Taliban were ousted by a US-led coalition in 2001 for harboring terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, but have returned to power following the chaotic departure of the US last year.
Since coming to power last August, the Taliban have been plagued by internal controversy as they struggle to transition from world war to government.
Universities opened this year in most of the country, but since taking power, Taliban edicts have been erratic.
While some provinces continue to provide education for all, most provinces have closed educational institutions for girls and women.
The religiously oriented Taliban government fears that continuing to enroll girls beyond sixth grade could alienate their rural base.
In the capital, Kabul, private schools and universities have been operating continuously.
The Taliban had previously decided not to reopen schools for girls above the 6th grade (about 11 years old), backtracking on an earlier promise.
That decision disrupted the Taliban’s efforts to win recognition from potential international donors at a time when the country is in the midst of a deepening humanitarian crisis.
The international community has urged Taliban leaders to reopen schools.
https://www.nationalworld.com/news/world/taliban-orders-afghan-women-wear-burka-public-3684904 Taliban orders all Afghan women to cover their faces in public