Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers on Saturday ordered all Afghan women to wear the burqa in public, a sharply radical pivot that reaffirmed rights activists’ worst fears and is set to further complicate the Taliban’s dealings with an already distrustful international community. was bound to.
The decree stated that women should leave home only when necessary, and male relatives would face punishment – starting from a subpoena to a court hearing and up to jail time – for violating women’s dress code.
It was the latest in a series of repressive orders issued by the Taliban leadership, not all of which have been implemented. Recently, for example, the Taliban forbade women from traveling alone, but after a day of protests, it was quietly ignored.
The UN aid mission in Afghanistan said it was deeply concerned about what would be considered and implemented as a formal directive, adding that it would seek clarification from the Taliban about the decision.
“This decision contradicts several assurances regarding the respect and protection of the human rights of all Afghans, including women and girls, that were provided to the international community by Taliban representatives during discussions and negotiations over the past decade.” Statement.
Parallel to the previous Taliban regime
The decree, which calls on women to show only their eyes and recommends that they wear a head-to-toe burqa, imposed similar restrictions on women during the Taliban’s previous regime between 1996 and 2001.
“We want our sisters to live with dignity and safety,” said Khalid Hanafi, the acting minister of the Taliban’s Ministry of Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Evil.
The Taliban first decided to reopen schools for girls above grade 6, reneging on an earlier promise and opting to appease their base at the cost of further alienating the international community. But the decree does not have widespread support among the leadership that is divided between pragmatists and fundamentalists.
That decision hampered efforts by the Taliban to seek recognition from potential international donors at a time when the country was mired in a worsening humanitarian crisis.
“For all eminent Afghan women, it is necessary to wear Hajib and the best Hajib is Chadori. [the head-to-toe burka]Which is part of our tradition and is honorable,” Shir Mohamed, an official at the Ministry of Virtue and Deputy, said in a statement.
It has been said in the decree that if women do not have any urgent work outside, then it is better for them to stay at home. “Islamic principles and Islamic ideology are more important to us than anything else,” Hanafi said.
Heather Barr, senior Afghanistan researcher at Human Rights Watch, urged the international community to build coordinated pressure on the Taliban.
,[It is] Time yet for a serious and strategic response to the Taliban’s escalating assault on women’s rights,” she wrote on Twitter.
Canada is deeply concerned by the Taliban’s increasing sanctions on Afghan women, which now includes the decision to wear the burqa in public. For ladies #human rights The benefits & girls achieved in recent decades in Afghanistan must be protected.
The Taliban were ousted in 2001 by a US-led coalition to harbor al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, but returned to power last year following a chaotic departure by the US. The White House did not immediately comment on the latest Taliban decree.
Since taking power last August, the Taliban leadership has been at loggerheads as they struggle to transition from war to rule. In this there are staunch fanatics against the more practical among them.
A spokesman for Pangea, an Italian non-governmental organization that has assisted women in Afghanistan for years, said the new decree would be particularly difficult for them to swallow because they lived in relative freedom until the Taliban took over.
“Over the past 20 years, they have gained awareness of human rights, and lost them over a period of months,” Silvia Radigolo said by telephone. “It’s dramatic [now] There is a life that does not exist.”
The information angers many Afghans that many younger generations of the Taliban, such as Sirajuddin Haqqani, are educating their daughters in Pakistan, while women and girls in Afghanistan have been targeted by their repressive orders since taking power.