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No Travel for Afghan Women Unless Accompanied by 'Male Relative', Says Taliban

The guidelines also ask vehicle owners to offer rides only to women in Islamic hijabs.

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Women seeking to travel should not be offered transport unless they are accompanied by a close 'male relative', Afghanistan's Taliban said on Sunday, 26 December.

The guidelines, issued by the Ministry for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, also ask vehicle owners to offer rides only to women in Islamic hijabs.

"Women travelling for over 45 miles (72 kilometres) should not be offered a ride if they are not accompanied by a close family member," the order states, clearly mentioning that the family remember refers to a 'close male relative' only.

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The stringent and controversial rules come weeks after Afghanistan's television channels were ordered to stop showing dramas and soap operas featuring women actors.

The ministry also asked women journalists to wear hijabs while presenting news on television.

In addition, the Ministry also announced that car drivers will not be permitted to play loud music in their vehicles, effective immediately.

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After the Taliban took over control in Afghanistan in August, several restrictions have been imposed on women and girls.

The Taliban authorities have allowed schools to reopen in some provinces, however, many girls are still unable to pursue secondary education.

Early in December, the Islamist group had issued a decree ordering the government to enforce women's rights.

The decree, however, did not mention girls' access to education.

Instances of oppression of women and girls have emerged again even after Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid in August had vowed "to recognise and honour women rights as per Islamic Law".

(With inputs from NDTV)

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Topics:  Women   Afghanistan   Taliban 

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