Taliban to force Afghan women to wear Islamic headscarves

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Afghan women will have to cover their faces with an Islamic veil for the first time in decades, according to a decree approved by the Taliban militants who rule the country.

Any woman who refuses to comply and ignores official warnings to her male family members could see a male tutor imprisoned for three days.

The Taliban already imposed the burqa on all women during its first term in power in the 1990s.

But since they took control last year they had not enforced it in Afghan cities.

Many women in Afghanistan already wear the burqa but some, particularly in urban areas, they just wear a simple covering over their hair.

Getty Images
A woman in a hijab.

The decree was approved by the Taliban’s Ministry of Prevention of Vice and Promotion of Virtue.

Taliban officials they described the decree as an “advice”but laid out a specific set of incremental steps for anyone who doesn’t comply:

  • In the first instance, their home would be visited and the woman’s husband, brother or father would be spoken to.
  • In the second, her male tutor would be summoned to the ministry.
  • In the third, the male guardian would be put on trial and could be jailed for three days.

The Koran, the holy book of Islam, tells Muslims, men and women, dress modestly.

It has been interpreted that masculine modesty consists in covering the area from the navel to the knee.

For women, it is generally considered that I know covers everything except the facehands and feet when in the presence of men to whom they are not related or married.

A woman reading the quran

Getty Images

However, there has been much debate within Islam as to whether this is enough.

This has led to a distinction between the hijab (literally “cover” in Arabic) and the niqab (meaning “full veil”).

The hijab is typically a scarf that covers the hair and neck, while the niqab is a veil for the face which leaves the area around the eyes clear.

It is worn with an accompanying headscarf or a abaya, a full-length robeand sometimes with a separate transparent veil for the eyes.

The burqa covers the entire face and bodyleaving only a mesh screen to see through.

The 7 types of veils

BBC

Many of the strict rules imposed by the taliban in daily life are directed at women.

Afghanistan has become the only country in the world that publicly limits education by gender, a major sticking point in the Taliban’s attempts to gain international legitimacy.

Girls have been banned from receiving secondary education, the ministry of women’s affairs has been dissolved and, in many cases, women have not been allowed to work.


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