The Taliban are tightening their control over women a little more. The supreme leader of Afghanistan ordered, Saturday, May 7, that Afghan women now wear the burqa, a full veil, in public. This is the toughest restriction on women’s freedom since the Taliban returned to power in August.

“They should wear a tchadri (another name for the burqa), because it’s traditional and respectful”announces a decree signed by Hibatullah Akhundzada and made public on Saturday by the Taliban government in front of the press in Kabul. “Women who are neither too young nor too old should veil their face when facing a man who is not a member of their family”, to avoid provocation, adds this decree. If they don’t have an important job to do outside, it’s “better for them to stay at home”.

Strong crackdown on women’s rights

The Taliban had also imposed the wearing of the burqa during their first stint in power between 1996 and 2001, marked by a strong repression of women’s rights, in accordance with their ultra-rigorous interpretation of Sharia, Islamic law. After taking power in mid-August, putting an end to twenty years of occupation by the United States and its allies, who had driven them out in 2001, the Taliban had promised to be more flexible this time. .

But they soon reneged on their promises, steadily eroding rights again and sweeping away 20 years of women’s freedom. These are now largely barred from government jobs and banned from traveling alone. In March, the Taliban also closed high schools and colleges for girls, just hours after their long-announced reopening.


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