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Taliban orders Afghan women to wear head-to-toe coverings in public

The full coverings burqa decree is reminiscent of the Taliban's 1996-2001 rule.

Published: May 9, 2022 8:12am

Updated: May 9, 2022 9:23am

Taliban rulers in Afghanistan over the weekend ordered all Afghan women to wear head-to-toe clothing in public, which includes full face covering. 

The order marks a sharp turn toward more extremist policies that were feared to become the case when the Taliban rose to power last summer.

Last month, the governing force of Afghanistan banned women from traveling alone, though the rule has essentially been ignored since it was implemented.

The new modesty decree is similar to the one imposed from 1996 to 2001, when the Taliban was previously in power. 

"We want our sisters to live with dignity and safety," said the acting minister for the Taliban's vice and virtue ministry said,

Shir Mohammad, another ministry official, said: "For all dignified Afghan women wearing Hijab is necessary and the best Hijab is chadori (the head-to-toe burqa) which is part of our tradition and is respectful. Those women who are not too old or young must cover their face, except the eyes."

The new decree also states that if a woman has no specifically important work to do outside of the household, it is better for her to stay at home.

Recently, the Taliban also decided not to reopen schools to girls above grade 6, backing out of a promise the regime made when it came to power last summer, as the U.S. military withdrew and the Afghanistan government collapsed.

The austerity rules are a setback for Afghan residents and others, include those in Western nations, who had hoped the new Taliban leadership would be more open to women's freedoms.

Since coming to power, the Taliban has struggled to transition to a more permanent form of governance. Infighting among top leaders has created inconsistent ruling measures as more extreme members of the party must face-off against those with more pragmatic ideas about how to rule.

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