Taliban Order Tough Restrictions On Women, Deny Promised Openings

Saturday, January 8, 2022 | 7:00 p.m.

The Taliban ordered posters to be hung in shops in Kabul warning that women “must” wear hijabs, and decided to prevent them from using public toilets in two provinces, which runs counter to the initial opening promises they made when they recovered. power after 20 years of failed military intervention by the United States and its allies in Afghanistan.

The posters are accompanied by a short text that states that, “according to the principles of sharia (Islamic law), women must wear a hijab”, without specifying whether it is a mere scarf or a garment that covers the entire face.

The posters were published by the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, a feared institution during the first Taliban government (1996-2001) and reestablished by the Islamists in mid-August, when they returned to rule.

“Those posters were published by the ministry but that does not mean that if a woman does not strictly follow them, she will be punished or beaten,” said a Taliban spokesman, quoted by the AFP news agency.

“It is simply a way to encourage Muslim women to comply with sharia law. But if a woman covers herself with a simple veil, that is also fine. Generally speaking, those posters are incitement,” he added.

Before the Islamists returned to power, Afghan women used to cover at least a scarf and many of them also wore burqa, even in areas controlled by the former US-backed government.

In turn, the Taliban arranged to prevent women from the southern provinces of Balkh and Herat from going to hammams, public baths, a very popular space in the Islamic world, reported the ANSA news agency.

That possibility represents for many, in cold Afghanistan, the only opportunity to bathe in warm conditions, as well as to be in a place dedicated to ritual washing.

The women, who routinely use the baths for ritual cleansing and purification required by Islamic law, protested because, they argue, the closure of public baths represents another violation of their fundamental rights.

The move to close the women’s sections of public hammams in the north sparked a new wave of outrage and fears that the decision would spread across the country.

The decision was announced by Sardar Mohammad Heydari, an official with the provincial branch of the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, although another leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed the move to The Guardian newspaper, adding that the new Afghan leaders should focus on “bigger battles.”

Since they regained control, the Taliban, who want to be recognized by the international community, have declared themselves more moderate than during their first term, but these restrictions are in addition to several measures taken to impose their ultra-conservative vision of Islam.

For example, they established that any woman who wishes to travel long distances must be accompanied by a man from her closest family and asked drivers not to accept women on board if they are not wearing the “Islamic veil.”

In addition, in the Herat region they urged the beheading of the mannequins in the stores, in a new sample that reject the exhibition of female figures on public roads.

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Helen Hernandez is our best writer. Helen writes about social news and celebrity gossip. She loves watching movies since childhood. Email: Phone : +1 281-333-2229

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