School, sports, burqa… these freedoms lost by women in Afghanistan since the return to power of the Taliban

Chase the natural, it comes back at a gallop. Since taking power in Afghanistan on August 15, the Taliban have again imposed a series of restrictions on civil society, many of which aim to subject women to their fundamentalist conception of Islam.

Fear and dust: a dive into Kabul where the Taliban reigns supreme

They have largely barred them from public jobs, restricted their right to move or dictated how they should dress. “L’Obs” looks back at key measures the Taliban have imposed on Afghan women in recent months.

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• School

The Taliban ordered the closure of girls’ secondary and secondary schools in Afghanistan on March 23, just hours after they reopened. However, the Ministry of Education had announced the resumption of classes for girls in several provinces except Kandahar (South), the home of the Taliban.

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The Taliban also announced that Afghan women could study at university, but in same-sex classes, with compulsory abaya (long traditional dress) and niqab (veil that covers the entire face except the eyes). They can also work, but “in accordance with the principles of Islam”

Afghanistan: Taliban allow women to study, but not with men

• The burqa

In early May, the supreme leader of the Taliban issued an order that women must cover themselves completely in public, including the face, ideally with the burqa, a full veil with a cloth grid at the level of the eyes, already mandatory when they were put on. the power from 1996 to 2001. Previously, only a scarf covering the hair was enough.

We must help Afghanistan (despite his regime)!

“Women who are neither too young nor too old should cover their faces, except their eyes, according to Sharia’s recommendations, to avoid any provocation when meeting a man.” who is not a close relative indicates this decision. And if they don’t have a reason to go out, then they do “better for them to stay at home”

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• Policy

A few weeks after coming to power, on September 17, the Taliban closed down the Ministry of Women’s Affairs to replace it with that of the promotion of virtue and the prevention of vice, fearing its fundamentalism during their first reign, twenty years past. This new ministry is responsible for strictly enforcing strict interpretations of Islam.

Despite insisting that they rule more moderately than they had between 1996 and 2001, the Taliban have not allowed most women back to work. Not a single woman was among the ministers of the new Taliban government.

• Employment opportunities

The Taliban have also ordered that women working in the government be fired if they do not adhere to the new dress code. Male employees also run the risk of being suspended if their wife or daughter does not comply with the rules.

In fact, when the Taliban say they allow women to work as long as gender segregation is respected, they lose access to public jobs except in specialized fields, such as health care and education.

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• Culture

Female presenters of major Afghan TV news channels have also been forced to wear face coverings on the broadcast. The female journalists had initially chosen not to follow this order and went live on the air without hiding their faces. Before he turns his back on threats of retaliation.

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This directive comes a few weeks after the ministry’s request to Afghan Televisions to stop broadcasting “soaps and rosewater series in which women” play, and ensure that female journalists wear “Islamic Veil” on screen.

Culture “Cancelled” by the Taliban

• Sports

In an interview with Australian television channel SBS last September, the deputy head of the Taliban’s cultural commission confirmed that women’s sports are not an option. “necessary and not appropriate”† These comments started with a question about cricket, a popular sport in this part of the world.

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The Taliban regime has since banned the practice of sports for women in the country, according to them in violation of their religious practice.

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• Transportation and travel

Taliban officials in Herat, Afghanistan’s most progressive city, have called on driving school instructors to stop issuing driver’s licenses to women.

The Taliban have previously announced that women who wish to travel long distances must now be accompanied by a male close relative. The recommendation, published by the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Immorality and circulating on social networks, also calls on drivers to only accept women in their vehicles if they have the “Islamic Veil”.

• Public space

The Taliban authorities in the city of Herat, in western Afghanistan, are continuing their crackdown by banning men and women from eating together in restaurants, even if they are married.

Fear and dust: a dive into Kabul where the Taliban reigns supreme

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Although Afghanistan is a very conservative and patriarchal country, it is common to see men and women, or families, sitting together at the restaurant table, especially in Herat, which has long been considered relatively progressive compared to the rest of the country. The Taliban have also imposed the segregation of women and men in public parks in Kabul, with visiting days for each gender.

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After 20 years of occupation by the United States and its allies, who ousted them in 2001, the Taliban had promised to be more flexible this time around. But they quickly reneged on their promises, again steadily eroding rights and wiping out two decades of women-won freedoms, in keeping with their ultra-rigorous interpretation of Islamic law’s sharia.

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