Officials: Taliban prevents unaccompanied women from flying

Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers denied boarding dozens of women on several flights because they were traveling without a male guardian, two officials from the country’s airlines said on Saturday.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of possible Taliban retaliation, noted that dozens of women who arrived at Kabul’s international airport on Friday were told they could not take their flights, both domestic and international, because they were not accompanied by a man.

Some had dual nationality and were returning home to countries like Canada, according to one of the sources. They were unable to board planes bound for Islamabad, Dubai and Turkey operated by Kam Air and the state-owned Ariana Airline, they added.

The order came from the Taliban leadership, one of the officials said.

On Saturday, some women traveling alone were allowed to board an Ariana Airlines flight to the western province of Herat, he said, adding that by the time they received the clearance, the plane had already taken off.

The airport president and police chief, two Islamic clerics who are part of the Taliban movement, were meeting with airline officials on Saturday.

“They are trying to fix it,” according to one of the sources.

It was not immediately clear whether the Taliban would exclude flights from the order issued a few months ago that requires women traveling more than 72 kilometers (45 miles) to be accompanied by a male relative.

This is the latest attack by the Taliban on women’s rights in Afghanistan, and it comes just days after the all-male religious government broke its promise by not allowing girls to study beyond sixth grade. from elementary school.

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The decision angered the international community, which has been reluctant to recognize the Taliban government since it came to power last August for fear it would revert to its conservative 1990s rule.

The denial of girls’ schooling has also angered large sections of the local population. Dozens of girls demonstrated Saturday in the capital, Kabul, demanding their right to education.

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