Two women wearing burqas in Afghanistan on January 17, 2022.
Scott Peterson/Getty Images
- The Taliban decreed that Afghan women must cover their faces in public.
- If women don’t comply, their closest male relative could face imprisonment or dismissal from government positions.
- The Taliban have enacted several draconian laws restricting women’s freedom.
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The Taliban Islamic regime ordered Afghan women to cover their faces in public in a decree passed on Saturday.
According to the decree of Taliban Supreme Leader Hibatullah Akhundzad, Reuters reported that the ideal face covering is the all-encompassing burqa.
If a woman does not comply with the new rule, her father or closest male relative will be visited and eventually imprisoned or dismissed from government posts, a spokesman for the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice said in a news conference, according to Reuters.
Most women in Afghanistan already choose to wear headscarves, but often do not cover their faces in urban areas like Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan.
Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August last year, they have enacted draconian laws restricting women’s freedom.
In March, the theocratic group closed girls’ high schools and recently introduced rules restricting women’s ability to travel unaccompanied by a male.
The harsh new policies are reminiscent of their hardline Muslim fundamentalist rule in the 1990s, despite their claims to have become reformed and more moderate.
UN human rights experts warned in January that Taliban leaders were institutionalizing large-scale and systematic gender-based discrimination and violence against women and girls.
The experts criticized the “Taliban’s attempts to continuously wipe women and girls out of public life”.
In response to the Afghan takeover, the US and other countries have cut foreign aid, frozen the Afghan government’s reserves in US bank accounts and imposed tough sanctions on the group.