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Saturday October 23, 2021

Kabul municipality asks female workers to stay home

September 20, 2021
Kabul municipality asks female workers to stay home

KABUL: Female employees in the Kabul city government have been told to stay home, with work only allowed for those who cannot be replaced by men, the interim mayor of Afghanistan’s capital said Sunday, detailing the latest restrictions on women by the new Taliban rulers.

On Friday, the Taliban shut down the Women’s Affairs Ministry, replacing it with a ministry for the “propagation of virtue and the prevention of vice” and tasked with enforcing Islamic law.

On Sunday, just over a dozen women staged a protest outside the ministry, holding up signs calling for the participation of women in public life, international media reported. “A society in which women are not active is (sic) dead society,” one sign read.

The protest lasted for about 10 minutes. After a short verbal confrontation with a man, the women got into cars and left, as Taliban in two cars observed from nearby. Meanwhile, about two dozen women activists protested outside Afghanistan's women's ministry on Sunday after it was closed by Taliban in power in Kabul and replaced by their Ministry for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

Female staff said they had been trying to return to work at the ministry for several weeks since the Taliban takeover last month, only to be told to go home, a British wire service reported. The sign outside the Ministry of Women's Affairs has been replaced by one for the Ministry for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

"The Ministry of Women's Affairs must be reactivated," said Baseera Tawana, one of the protesters outside the building. "The removal of women means the removal of human beings." The protest came a day after some girls returned to primary schools with gender-segregated classes, but older girls faced an anxious wait with no clarity over if and when they would be able to resume their studies.