In Afghanistan, the Taliban are further tightening their control over women. Their supreme leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, ordered Afghan women to wear a full veil in public spaces on Saturday 7 May, preferably the burqa. This is the most severe restriction on their freedom since the Taliban return to power in mid-August.
“They should wear a tchadri [autre nom de la burqa]because it is traditional and respectful “takes note of the decree signed by Mr. Akhundzada and made public on Saturday by the Taliban government, in front of the press, in Kabul.
“Women who are neither too young nor too old should veil their faces, except for the eyes, according to the recommendations of the Sharia, to avoid any provocation when they meet a man “ anyone who is not a close family member adds this decree. If they don’t have an important job to do outside, it is “They better stay at home”.
This decree also lists the penalties to which heads of families who do not impose the use of this full veil are exposed. The first two offenses will be sanctioned with a simple warning. The third will be sentenced to three days in prison and the fourth will be brought to justice. Additionally, any government employee who does not wear the full veil will be fired immediately.
Despite the promises, repression of women’s rights
“Islam has never recommended chadria women’s rights activist who remained in Afghanistan on condition of anonymity reacted. The Taliban, instead of being progressive, are going backwards. They behave like they did on their first diet, they are the same as they were twenty years ago. “
“We are a broken nation, forced to endure assaults that we cannot understand. As a people, we are crushed “has on his side tweeted Muska Dastageer, a former professor at the American University of Afghanistan, now based abroad. As early as mid-August, the dreaded Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice had issued several recommendations on how women should dress. But this is the first text on the subject promulgated at national level.
The United States has responded to these restrictions on women’s rights in Afghanistan through a spokesperson for the US State Department. “We are extremely concerned that the rights of Afghan women and girls and the progress made in this area over the past twenty years are undermined”the spokesman said. Washington and its allies are “Deeply disturbed by the recent Taliban measures against women and girls, including restrictions on education and travel”He added.
The United Nations also condemned this decision. She “Goes against many assurances on the protection of human rights for all Afghans” which have been given to the international community in recent years by representatives of the Taliban, insists the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan in a statement.
The Taliban had previously asked women to wear at least the hijab, a scarf that covered the head but revealed the face. But they strongly recommended wearing the burqa, which they had already imposed during their first takeover, between 1996 and 2001. During this first regime, they had deprived women of almost all their rights, according to their ultra-rigorous interpretation of Sharia law. , Islamic law. Agents from the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice whipped any surprised woman without a burqa.
The search for international recognition made difficult
After regaining power, ending 20 years of occupation by the United States and its allies, which had ousted them in 2001, the Taliban promised to be more flexible. However, they quickly reneged on their promises, once again steadily eroding rights and wiping out two decades of women’s freedom.
These are now largely excluded from public employment and cannot travel alone. In March, the Taliban brought high schools and colleges closer to girls, hours after their long-announced reopening. This unexpected turnaround, which was not justified except to say that the education of girls must be done according to sharia law, has scandalized the international community. The Taliban also imposed the separation of women and men in Kabul’s public parks, with designated visiting days.
The decree issued on Saturday could further complicate the request for recognition of the Taliban, which the international community has directly linked to respect for women’s rights. “It is an unexpected setback, which will not help the Taliban gain international recognition. Such moves will only intensify opposition to them. “said Pakistani analyst Imtiaz Gul.
Over the past two decades, Afghan women have gained new freedoms, either by returning to school or applying for jobs in all sectors of activity, even as the country has remained socially conservative. Women tried to assert their rights by demonstrating for the first time in Kabul and major cities after the Taliban took power. But the latter fiercely repressed the movement, arresting many activists and holding some, sometimes for several weeks.