Taliban order Afghan women to cover fully in public
KABUL – The Taliban on Saturday imposed some of the harshest restrictions on Afghanistan’s women since they seized power, ordering them to cover fully in public, ideally with the traditional burqa.
The Taliban took back control of the country in August last year, promising a softer rule than their previous stint in power between 1996 and 2001. On Saturday, Afghanistan’s supreme leader and Taliban chief Hibatullah Akhundzada approved a strict dress code for women when they are in public.
A decree said the best way for a woman to cover her face and body was to wear the chadari, a traditional, blue, all-covering Afghan burqa.
“They should wear a chadari as it is traditional and respectful,” said the decree approved by Akhundzada and released by Taliban authorities at a ceremony in Kabul.
“Those women who are not too old or young must cover their face, except the eyes, ….. in order to avoid provocation when meeting men who are not mahram (adult close male relatives),” it said. Akhundzada’s decree also said that if women had no important work outside then it was “better they stay at home”.
The Ministry for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, which released the new order, announced a slew of punishments if the dress code is not followed. Women working in government institutions who did not follow the order “should be fired”, the ministry added.
Government employees whose wives and daughters do not comply will also be suspended from their jobs, the decree said.