For two decades women in Afghanistan enjoyed relative freedom but the return of the Taliban has resulted in a return to strict controls on their dress and their movements although the clampdown risks splitting the ruling party.
Afghan women defy Taliban edict to wear veils at all times
KABUL: Arooza was furious and afraid, keeping her eyes open for Taliban on patrol as she and a friend shopped Sunday in Kabul’s Macroyan neighborhood.
The math teacher was fearful her large shawl, wrapped tight around her head, and sweeping pale brown coat would not satisfy the latest decree by the country’s religiously driven Taliban government. After all, more than just her eyes were showing. Her face was visible.
Arooza, who asked to be identified by just one name to avoid attracting attention, wasn’t wearing the all-encompassing burqa preferred by the Taliban, who on May 7 issued a new dress code for women appearing in public. The edict said only a woman’s eyes should be visible.
The decree by the Taliban’s hardline leader Hibaitullah Akhunzada even suggested women shouldn’t leave their homes unless necessary and outlines a series of punishments for male relatives of women violating the code.