Taliban Orders Afghan Women to Cover Face in Public, Says Blue Burqa Most Ideal
Afghan women and girls are facing tragic times since the Taliban came back to power in August last year.
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An edict issued on 7 May by the Taliban's supreme leader, Hibatullah Akhundzada, has stated that Afghan women must cover their faces in public.
The order is an escalation of the group's rising restrictions on women in public that has sparked outrage from the international community and many Afghans, reported Reuters.
At a press conference in Kabul, a spokesman for the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice read a ruling from the group's chief, saying that if a woman did not cover her face outside the home, her father or closest male relative would be visited and subsequently imprisoned or fired from government jobs.
The report added that the ideal covering according to the group was the all-encompassing blue burqa, which had become a global symbol of the Taliban's previous hardline regime from 1996 until 2001.
The majority of Afghan women wear headscarves for traditional reasons, however many in urban places, such as Kabul, do not.
The State of Women Under Taliban Rule
Earlier in February this year, women working in Afghanistan's government departments were instructed by the Taliban's religious police to cover themselves, even with a blanket, or risk losing their jobs.
According to local media sources, the Taliban leadership in Afghanistan is also refusing to grant driving permits to women in Kabul and other regions of the nation.
The group also previously released a rule prohibiting girls in grades above sixth from attending school.
Most women have been barred from working in the government since the Taliban came back to power in Afghanistan in August last year. Despite the fact that the new rulers had indicated that women would be permitted to return to work after certain requirements are met, such as the establishment of separate workplaces, the situation for Afghan women has continuously worsened.
(With inputs from Reuters)
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Topics: Afghanistan Taliban Hijab
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