Taliban declares women should cover faces in public, says burqa is best


KABUL (Reuters) – The Taliban ruled on Saturday that Afghan women must cover their faces, according to a decree issued by the group’s supreme leader, in an escalation of increasing restrictions on women in public places that sparked a backlash from the international community and many women. Afghans.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice read the decree issued by the group’s Supreme Leader Hebatullah Akhundzada at a press conference in Kabul, saying that the woman’s father or her closest male relative would be visited and eventually imprisoned or dismissed from work. Government jobs if she does not cover her face outside the home.

The ideal face covering, they added, was the all-around blue burqa that became a global symbol for the former hard-line Taliban regime from 1996 until 2001.

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Most women in Afghanistan wear the headscarf for religious reasons, but many in urban areas such as Kabul do not cover their faces.

The group faced severe hindrances, led by Western governments, but was joined by some religious scholars and Muslim countries due to increasing restrictions on women’s rights.

An abrupt turnaround in March when the group closed girls’ high schools the morning they were due to open angered the international community and prompted the United States to cancel planned meetings on easing the country’s financial crisis.

Washington and other countries have cut development aid and imposed severe sanctions on the banking system since the Taliban took over in August, pushing the country toward economic collapse.

The Taliban said they have changed since they last ruled when they banned girls’ education or women leaving the home without a male relative and women had to wear a headscarf.

But in recent months, the administration has increased its restrictions on women, including rules limiting their unaccompanied travel and banning men and women from visiting parks at the same time.

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Kabul newsroom report; Written by Charlotte Greenfield. Editing by Michael Perry

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