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Wednesday June 29, 2022

Taliban order women to wear burqa in public

Afghanistan's supreme leader and Taliban chief Hibatullah Akhundzada approved a strict dress code for women when they are in public

By AFP
May 08, 2022
Representational image of Afghan women. Photo: AFP
Representational image of Afghan women. Photo: AFP 

KABUL: The Taliban on Saturday imposed restrictions on Afghanistan's women, ordering them to cover fully in public, ideally with the traditional 'burqa'.

Afghanistan's supreme leader and Taliban chief Hibatullah Akhundzada approved a strict dress code for women when they are in public. The decree said the best way for a woman to cover her face and body or to wear chadari, a traditional blue, all-covering Afghan burqa.

"They should wear a chadari as it is traditional and respectful," said a decree approved by Akhundzada and released by Taliban authorities at a ceremony in Kabul.

"Those women who are not too old or young must cover their face, except the eyes, as per sharia directives, to avoid provocation when meeting men who are not mahram (adult close male relatives)," it said.

The order was expected to spark a flurry of condemnation abroad. Many in the international community want humanitarian aid for Afghanistan and recognition of the Taliban government to be linked to the restoration of women's rights.

Akhundzada's decree also said that if there was no reason for women to step out of their homes then it was "better they stay at home".

"Islam never recommended chadari for women," said a women's rights activist who asked not to be named. "I believe the Taliban are becoming regressive instead of being progressive. They are going back to the way they were in their previous regime."

Another women's rights activist Muska Dastageer said Taliban rule had triggered too much rage and disbelief. "We are a broken nation forced to endure assaults we cannot fathom. As a people we are being crushed," she said on Twitter.

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