Taliban require women to cover their faces when going out

AfghanistanThe Taliban issued a decree requiring women to dress head-to-toe in public and threatened punishment if they failed to comply.

“Women should wear a burqa (a long robe that covers the whole body), which is traditional clothing and shows respect for Sharia law to avoid provocation when meeting men who are not close relatives,” the statement read today published decree of Taliban Supreme Leader Hibatullah Akhundzada.

A representative of the Taliban government’s Ethics and Corruption Prevention Agency also advised women to “stay at home unless there is important work to be done outside”. The person also warned that fathers or closest male relatives of women who do not cover their faces in public could be jailed or fired by government authorities.

Afghan women wear a burqa at a food distribution point in Kandahar on April 27.  Photo: AFP.

Afghan women wear a burqa at a food distribution point in Kandahar on April 27. Picture: AFP.

This is believed to be the toughest regulation of women’s control introduced by the Taliban government since it returned to power in Afghanistan in August last year. Most Afghan women wear headscarves for religious reasons, but many in urban areas like the capital Kabul do not cover their faces when going out.

The Taliban claim to have changed since they took power in Afghanistan in 1996-2001. Back then, they prohibited women from going to school, going to work, or leaving home without male relatives accompanying them.

The Taliban also claim to grant women rights under Islamic law and Afghan culture. However, recent strict regulations mean that this administration still faces a lot of criticism and skepticism.

The Taliban government caused a stir in March when it banned women from flying unaccompanied by men and demanded that parks be opened separately for men and women, with three days for women and men only, sex is 4 days. This means that couples and families cannot go to the park together.

The Taliban also broke an earlier promise to open a secondary school for girls, a move that shocked many Afghans and drew criticism from humanitarian agencies and foreign governments.

vu appendix (Corresponding Reuters)