RAWA, March 27, 2023

Afghan women in the chains of slavery of brutal Taliban

Misogynist Restrictions Imposed by Taliban on Afghan Women

The following report lists some of the decrees issued by the Taliban to restrict Afghan women in different spheres of life. They have been imposed since August 2021 when they were brought back to power by the US/NATO:

1) Right to participation in public and political life: Taliban deprived women of their basic right of participation in public and political life. Women are forbidden from carrying out political and public activities.

2) Right to protest: Protests of any kind are prohibited, including imposing restrictions on demonstrations. They have arrested and tortured dozens of brave women just for staging demonstrations for their rights.

Taliban publicly flog an Afghan woman

3) Right to hold government office: Afghan women do not have the right to hold government positions. Most ministries removed women from their positions after taking power and women only perform duties that cannot be done by men.

4) Ban on high school education: Prohibition of education for girls above the sixth grade. This ban has increased violence against girls, including child and forced marriages. Nada Mohammad Nadim, the Taliban Minister of Higher Education, stated in a speech, “Girls in schools is obscene and immoral.”

5) Ban on music and arts schools: Since late August 2021, they closed all centers that were involved in the education of music and arts. Playing music on television and radio channels is banned, as is in weddings and other celebrations. This is because the Taliban consider music to be “forbidden” in Islam. A number of musicians were publicly abused and humiliated and their musical instruments were broken.

6) Ban on sports activities: Sports ban since September 8, 2021: “Women’s sports are inappropriate and unnecessary activities, because the faces and bodies of the players may not be covered, and this is not allowed in Sharia.” Therefore, women do not have the right to exercise.

7) Segregation of females and males in public spaces: On September 12, 2021, the Taliban passed a decree for the segregation of male and female students in all educational centers, both public and private. Later they asked all female students of universities to stay in their houses “until further notice”.

Segregation in classrooms

8) Creation of the “moral” ministry: In September 2021, the Taliban government first prevented the female employees of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs from entering the ministry. Then on 17th September, they officially changed the ministry to the “Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice”. This ministry is the principal body of the Taliban regime that imposes strict Islamic rules including dress code, the requirement of a mahram (father, brother, husband and son) to travel with women, prohibition of wearing white shoes (because the color of the Taliban flag is white!), and others. They can also arrest women who do not follow these rules.

9) Ban on appearing on television: According to an order issued by the Taliban in November 2021, women were banned from appearing and working on television, and female journalists and presenters were also strictly ordered to cover their faces completely.

10) Travel restrictions: The Taliban imposed restrictions on the travel of women on December 26, 2021. Drivers were ordered not to pick up women without hijab. Women without mahram are not allowed to travel alone beyond a distance of 72 kilometers. On February 27, 2023, the Taliban also imposed restrictions on the travel of women abroad without a mahram. On 16th of January 2023, they issued an order to all travel agencies to not process the travel documents of women who do not have a mahram, including medical visas. Women are not allowed to sit in the front seat of cars and any man and woman travelling alone are stopped and questioned to determine whether the male person is the woman’s mahram.

Taliban disrupt protest of Afghan women in Kabul

11) Imposition of hijab: Women were ordered to wear a hijab in January 2022. The Taliban also created a program called the “observance of the hijab”, installing billboards in the city. On May 7, 2022, it was ordered that all women must cover their faces in public places and in case of violation of this order the male guardian of the woman will be punished. Members of the religious police could stop women on streets and force them to buy a hijab from the nearest market and only then they would be allowed to go home.

12) Ban on driving: In May 2022, a decree was issued in Herat province banning women from driving and also driving courses from teaching women.

13) Ban on going to public places: On March 27, 2022, women were forbidden from going to recreational parks, public baths and sports clubs.

14) Ban on interaction between female students and male staff: The Taliban imposed restrictions on staff members of universities, preventing them from interacting with female students. Female students were also not allowed to interact with male classmates and attending their graduation ceremonies. Prohibition of participation of girls in language training courses. In September 2022, the Taliban ordered language training centers to either hire female teachers or they would be shut down.

15) Prohibition of several fields of study: Girls are prohibited from choosing their field of study in universities. In the first week of October 2022, when female school graduates were giving their university entrance tests, they were asked to not choose the fields of agriculture, veterinary medicine, civil engineering, mining engineering etc. as these fields are only for men. Two weeks later, the right to continue studying at master's level in fields such as agriculture, commerce, computer science and engineering was also taken away from girls.

16) Ban on university education: On January 28, 2022, all private universities were ordered to not admit any female students in the coming year until further notice. Through the issuance of decree No. 2271 dated December 20, 2022, all public and private universities were closed for girls due to the “presence of female students without mahram in the dormitories”.

Taliban publicly lash men and women in Parwan province

17) Ban on right to work: Women were prohibited from working in international and national non-governmental organizations. On December 24, 2022, the officials of the organizations were told to postpone the contracts of all female employees until further notice. The Taliban are not even allowing women to work from home, asking offices to replace female employees with male ones and to withhold their salaries. Many offices have been forced to let go of female employees.

18) Controlling reproductive rights: Imposing restrictions on family planning in Kabul and several other provinces. Doctors, health workers and pharmacists were ordered not to prescribe or sell birth control and sexual enhancement drugs. In case of violation, their work permit would be confiscated.

19) Ban on Valentine’s Day: On February 14, 2023, the Taliban declared Valentine's Day to be a blasphemous culture and beat some flower sellers. Shops and restaurants were forced to close on this day.

20) Removal of women’s images from public places: Images of women in public spaces, including beauty salons, billboards, markets, wedding halls, educational courses and private schools, private clinics, public and private hospitals, were either forcibly removed or defaced with black paint. Even the statue of a woman in the courtyard of Kabul University was defaced, removed and broken.

Taliban publicly abuse and humiliate a group of musicians

21) Removal of female mannequins from shops: Clothes shops are not allowed to display female mannequins. In Herat province they forced shopkeepers to behead mannequins.

22) Ban on publishing images of living beings: Government newspapers do not have the right to publish images of living beings because from the Taliban point of view, it is forbidden to print pictures of humans and animals in Islam.

23) Restriction on the provision of government services: Government offices have the right to provide services to women with hijab and mahram only twice a week, on other days women are forbidden to enter any government offices.

Taliban restrictions on women (1996-2001)

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