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regular-article-logo Saturday, 25 May 2024

Taliban urge women to cover from head to toe

We want our sisters to live with dignity and safety, says Afghanistan acting PM Khalid Hanafi

AP, PTI Kabul Published 08.05.22, 12:42 AM
Khalid Hanafi, acting minister for the Taliban’s vice and virtue ministry, in Kabul on Saturday.

Khalid Hanafi, acting minister for the Taliban’s vice and virtue ministry, in Kabul on Saturday. Reuters

Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers on Saturday ordered all Afghan women to wear head-to-toe clothing in public, a sharp hard-line pivot that confirmed the worst fears of rights activists and was bound to further complicate Taliban dealings with an already distrustful international community.

The decree, which calls for women to only show their eyes and recommends they wear the head-to-toe burqa, evoked similar restrictions on women during the Taliban’s previous rule between 1996 and 2001.

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“We want our sisters to live with dignity and safety,” said Khalid Hanafi, acting minister for the Taliban’s vice and virtue ministry.

The Taliban previously decided against re-opening schools to girls above grade six, reneging on an earlier promise and opting to appease their hardline base at the expense of further alienating the international community.

That decision disrupted efforts by the Taliban to win recognition from potential international donors at a time when the country is mired in a worsening humanitarian crisis.

“For all dignified Afghan women wearing Hijab is necessary and the best Hijab is chadori (the head-to-toe burqa) which is part of our tradition and is respectful,” said Shir Mohammad, a ministry official said.

“Those women who are not too old or young must cover their face, except the eyes,” he said.

The decree added that if women had no important work outside it is better for them to stay at home. “Islamic principles and Islamic ideology are more important to us than anything else,” Hanafi said. Since taking power last August, the Taliban leadership has been squabbling among themselves as they struggle to transition from war to governing.

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