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Afghanistan women are required to wear full-coverage burqas by the Taliban chief Hibatullah Akhundzada

Burqa for Afghanistan women

The Taliban imposed one of the most severe restrictions on Afghan women since gaining control on Saturday, requiring them to wear the burqa in public.

In August of last year, the militants reclaimed control of the country, promising a more moderate rule than their last reign of terror, which lasted from 1996 to 2001 and was marked by human rights violations.

Women, on the other hand, have already been subjected to a plethora of restrictions, including bans on numerous government professions, secondary education, and solo travel outside of their cities or Afghanistan.

Hibatullah Akhundzada, Afghanistan’s supreme leader and Taliban chief, established a severe clothing code for women in public on Saturday.

“They should wear a chadori (head-to-toe burqa) as it is traditional and respectful,” said a decree in his name 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, in order to avoid provocation when meeting men who are not mahram (adult close male relatives),” it said.

The decree was likely to be met with widespread outcry around the world. Many in the international community want humanitarian aid for Afghanistan to be linked to the restoration of women’s rights, as well as recognition of the Taliban regime.

The ordinance also said that if women did not have important outside work, it was “best they stay at home.”

The Taliban made the burqa mandatory for women during their first administration.

The feared Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has released various “guidelines” on what women should wear since their return to power, but Saturday’s edict was the first such national mandate.

In March, the hardline Islamists sparked international uproar by closing secondary schools for girls just hours after reopening for the first time since seizing control.

Officials have never given a reason for the prohibition, other than to state that girls’ education must follow “Islamic standards.”

According to various Taliban officials, Akhundzada also ordered the prohibition.

Women are also required to attend parks in the capital on days other than men.

Initially, some Afghan women fought back hard, staging small marches and protests to demand the right to education and work.

However, the Taliban retaliated by arresting several of the ringleaders and detaining them incommunicado while denying that they had been detained.

Girls were allowed to attend school and women were able to work in all industries during the 20 years between the Taliban’s two reigns, while the country remained socially conservative.

Many women already wear the burqa in rural Afghanistan, which is profoundly traditional and patriarchal.

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