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Taliban: Afghan Women must Cover Their Faces in Public
By Staff, Agencies
Afghanistan has ordered the country’s women to cover their faces in public – one of the harshest restrictions imposed on them since the Taliban seized power last year and an escalation of growing restrictions on women that is drawing a backlash from the international community and many Afghans.
“They should wear a chadori [head-to-toe burq]) as it is traditional and respectful,” said a decree issued by Taliban chief Haibatullah Akhunzada that was released by authorities at a function in Kabul on Saturday.
A spokesman for the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice read the decree from Akhunzada at a media conference, saying that a woman’s father or closest male relative would be visited and eventually imprisoned or fired from government jobs if she did not cover her face outside the home.
The spokesman added that the ideal face covering is the burqa, which became a global symbol of the Taliban’s previous hardline rule from 1996 until 2001. Most women in Afghanistan wear a headscarf, but many in urban areas, such as Kabul, do not cover their faces.
Since taking over Afghanistan, the Taliban have reintroduced draconian restrictions on freedoms and movements, particularly directed at women, that are reminiscent of their last rule in the 1990s.
The country has been reeling from a humanitarian crisis with more than half of the population facing hunger. The Taliban has struggled to revive the aid-dependent economy, which is in freefall due to sanctions and exclusion from international financial institutions.
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