By Rukhshana Media
Afghan women must wear a “hijab” and be covered up, a senior Taliban official said on Wednesday, the latest move by the extremist regime to clamp down on women’s freedoms.
It was not immediately clear what the official — acting Minister for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice Sheikh Mohammad Khalid— means by “hijab”. In Afghanistan, this can mean a headscarf, a much longer cloak or even the all-encompassing burqa.
“We are working on providing a framework for girls’ education. But we will not allow women to go without a ‘hijab’ in the name of human rights,” the acting minister was quoted as saying by Bakhtar, Afghanistan’s state news agency.
He also said the Taliban had not dismantled the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, which it shut last month and replaced with the headquarters of its morality police, but was actually working on installing a new one. “We are working on a framework to establish a women’s ministry instead of a sham that prepares the conditions for women’s work and protects their rights,” Khalid is quoted saying on the twitter account of Bakhtar News Agency, on October 21.
In late September, a Taliban member told Afghan TV Tolonews that women should not use perfume, wear colorful clothes or high heels as these would attract young men.
Since the Taliban returned to power in mid-August, the group has “temporarily” banned almost all women’s work and education. The group had said to be working on a framework to allow women to return to school and education.
However, some secondary schools in Balkh, Jawzjan, Samangan, Kunduz and Uruzgan provinces are reported to be open to teenage girls.
In reaction to the Taliban’s restriction on women, Afghan women have staged protests in several provinces, asking for protection of their rights. However, the Taliban responded violently by beating protesters, arresting and torturing journalists who covered the protests, saying they deemed the demonstrations “illegal.”