Afghanistan's ruling Taliban: Supreme leader orders women to wear burqa in public

Steph Deschamps / May 8, 2022


Afghanistan's top leader ordered Saturday that Afghan women must now wear the burqa, a full-face veil, in public, imposing the most severe restriction on women's freedom since the Taliban returned to power in August.
They should wear a chadri (another name for the burqa), because it is traditional and respectful, said the decree, signed by Hibatullah Akhundzada and made public on Saturday by the Taliban government before the press in Kabul. Women who are neither too young nor too old should veil their faces when they face a man who is not a member of their family, to avoid provocation, the decree adds.
If they don't have important work to do outside, it's better for them to stay home.
The Taliban had also imposed the wearing of the burqa during their first period in power between 1996 and 2001, marked by a strong repression of women's rights, in accordance with their ultra-rigorist interpretation of sharia, the Islamic law.
After taking power in mid-August, ending 20 years of occupation by the United States and its allies, who had driven them out in 2001, the Taliban promised to be more flexible this time. But they quickly reneged on their promises, gradually eroding rights again and sweeping away 20 years of freedom won by women. Women are now largely excluded from government jobs and are forbidden to travel alone.

In March, the Taliban closed high schools and colleges to girls, just hours after their long-announced reopening. This unexpected about-face, which was not justified except to say that girls' education should be in accordance with sharia law, outraged the international community.
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