Afghanistan’s Taliban government on Saturday ordered women to cover every part of their bodies in public except their eyes, according to multiple reports, in the latest sign the regime has no plan to follow through with vows to soften restrictions on women.
The order reinstates a policy the Taliban imposed on the country when they last ruled it from 1996-2001, which drew international condemnation.
Saturday’s decree came from the Taliban’s infamous Ministry of Vice and Virtue, the moral arm of the hard-line Islamic government that’s enforced numerous oppressive policies toward women in the past.
Shir Mohammad, a ministry official, said in a statement the rule applies to all women the Taliban considers “not too old or young,” according to the Associated Press, and named a head-to-toe burqa as the government’s preferred form of women’s attire.
The Taliban said it would take a softer stance toward women after it swiftly took control of Afghanistan in August following an American troop withdrawal, but time has shown those were hollow promises. Among its pledges were that women would be allowed to receive full educations, but the government has not allowed girls to advance in schools past grade 6. The Taliban also promised amnesty for Afghans who worked with the Western-backed government that ruled Kabul from 2001 to 2021, but evidence has grown the Taliban is carrying out a massive campaign of revenge killings against those tied to the old government.
What To Watch For
The move could complicate efforts for Afghanistan to secure further critical international aid to deal with a deepening humanitarian crisis, as the country’s economy remains in a state of chaos.
Afghanistan’s Taliban order women to cover up head to toe (Associated Press)
Taliban Says It Wants Women To Join Cabinet—Just Not Yet (Forbes)
The Taliban Promised Them Amnesty. Then They Executed Them. (New York Times)