Afghan Taliban bans women from travelling without male relative

Afghan Taliban bans women from travelling alone unaccompanied

Women who have to travel more than 72 kilometers will have to be accompanied by male relative

PESHAWAR: The Afghan Taliban has imposed new restrictions, banning women from traveling more than 72km without being accompanied by male relative. The directives were issued by the Taliban’s Ministry of Ethics and Prevention of Evil on Sunday.

The ministry spokeswoman Sadiq Akif Mohajer claimed that the decision has been taken for the safety of women. He said that women who have to travel more than 72 kilometers (or 45 miles) will have to be accompanied by a male relative. In addition, passenger vehicles owners have been asked to provide service only to women wearing full hijab.

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The human rights activists have opposed the Afghan Taliban’s decision as the Taliban’s interpretation of the hijab isn’t yet clear as most Afghan women already wear scarves and burka so there was no need for issuing such instructions. Earlier, the Taliban had warned against music in cars and had instructed TV channels to stop airing serials and dramas with women characters. Similarly, women journalists were also directed that they could not host tv program without hijab.

This is despite the fact that after capturing Afghanistan on August 15, this year, the Taliban had said that they will not adopt strict policies towards women. But since coming to power, Taliban authorities have been gradually increasing restrictions on women. Girls’ schools are still closed in most provinces since the fall of the former Afghan government.  

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A spokesperson for the Afghan Taliban, Sohail Shaheen had said that the Taliban will not force women to wear the shuttlecock burqa but they have to wear the hijab “for their own protection.” In his latest interview Shaheen said, “Hijab in not shuttlecock burqa. There are different types of hijab that will ensure the security of women.” The spokesperson had also rejected the news that the Taliban fighters are forcibly marrying underage girls and termed it propaganda against Taliban.

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