The Taliban went back to the harshest stages of their “sharia”, reimposing this Saturday harsh restrictions on women’s freedoms in Afghanistan. So it was ordered that they should reuse in public “a veil that covers them from head to toepreferably a burqa”, which only leaves a small mesh at eye level, but also the measure is part of a total setback of the advances that women had achieved in the last two decades.
In a decree published this Saturday, Hibatullah Akhundzada, supreme leader of the Taliban and of Afghanistan, ordered that women “must once again fully cover their bodies and faces in public”estimating that the burqa, which only leaves a mesh at eye level, “Is the best option”.
“They will have to wear a chador [un término que también se usa para designar al burka] because it is traditional and respectful”he indicated.
“Women who are neither too young nor too old they will have to cover their face when they are in front of a man who is not a member of their family, to avoid provocation,” specifies the text. and points “If they don’t have something important to do outside, it’s better for them to stay at home”.
Punishment to those who do not respect the use of the veil
The decree also details the severe punishments to which family leaders who do not enforce the use of the integral veil are exposed. The first two fouls will merit a warning. At the third, they will go to jail for three days and if they reoffend, they will be brought before a judge for greater penalties.
In addition, if a government official does not wear this type of veil, she will be immediately fired.
“Islam has never recommended the chador”a women’s rights activist who is still living in Afghanistan told AFP. “The Taliban, instead of advancing, are going backwards. They behave as they did during their first government, they are the same as they were 20 years ago,” the woman added, asking the AFP agency that her name not be disclosed.
Since the Islamist group’s return to power in mid-August, the feared Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice had published several slogans on how women should dress. But it is the first national decree on the subject.
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Until now, the Taliban had required women to wear at least a hijab, a veil that covers the head but leaves the face uncovered, although now they are recommending the use of the burqa.
The Taliban imposed the use of the burqa during their first regime, between 1996 and 2001, during which they carried out a strong crackdown on women’s rightsaccording to his rigorous interpretation of “sharia”, Islamic law.
At the time, officers from the Ministry of the Promotion of Virtue flogged women caught not wearing a burqa, a dress that has continued to be worn for many years in more traditional and rural Afghan regions.
“We are in a broken nation, which is attacked in a way that we cannot understand.. As a people, we are crushed,” tweeted Muska Dastageer, a former professor at the American University of Afghanistan, now living abroad.
Having returned to power in mid-August, at the end of two decades of military presence by the United States and its allies in the country, the Taliban promised to establish a more tolerant and flexible regime.
But they were quickly cracking down on women, such as excluding them from public jobs or prohibiting them from traveling alone, freedoms that they had conquered in the last 20 years and that quickly disappeared.
In March, after months of promising to authorize education for girls, the Taliban ordered the closure of women’s secondary schools. This unexpected change in attitude, which they justified by arguing that the education of girls should be done in compliance with the “sharia” scandalized the international community.
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The Taliban also enforced separation between men and women in Kabul’s public parks, with visiting days attributed to each sex.
In addition, Islamists ordered airlines in Afghanistan to prevent women from taking flights unless they are accompanied by a male relative.
Days later, Taliban officials in Herat, Afghanistan’s most progressive city, asked driving school instructors not to issue permits to women, who traditionally drive in the country’s big cities.
After the arrival of the Taliban, women wanted to preserve their rights by demonstrating in Kabul and other large cities. But their protests were violently repressed and many Afghan women were even detained for weeks.
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