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Afghanistan: what are the bans that could bring women back under Taliban rule

The return of the Taliban to power in Afghanistan Following the withdrawal of US troops, it caused deep fear in Afghan women at the eventual return of a religious regime that imposed severe restrictions and prohibitions on them in the past.

The Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), created in 1977 in Kabul as a political and social organization and defender of human rights and social justice in the country, recalled the prohibitions that Afghan women endured under Taliban rule.

“The Taliban treat women worse than their animals (…) Women are not the least important in the eyes of the Taliban, especially when they are engaged in procreation, satisfying the sexual desires of men or taking care of the burden. housework on a daily basis, ”said the group.

After taking Kabul, the Taliban assured that they will respect women’s rights “within Islamic law.” His spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said that women will be able to “work and study” and they will be “very active” in society.

However, he clarified that “They will be happy to live under the Sharia framework”, Islamic law.

What are the 29 prohibitions

The detailed list by the Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan includes the following restrictions in effect during the Taliban regime that ruled between 1996 and 2001 when it was overthrown by the US invasion:

  • 1. Total prohibition of female work outside the home. Only a few female doctors and nurses are allowed to work in some hospitals in Kabul.
  • 2. Total prohibition of any type of activity of women outside the home, unless they are accompanied by their ‘mahram’ (the closest male relative, be it the father, brother or husband).
  • 3. Forbidden to close deals with male traders.
  • 4. Forbidden to be treated by male doctors.
  • 5. It is forbidden to study in schools, universities or any other educational institution (the Taliban have turned girls’ schools into religious seminaries).
  • 6. Women must wear a burqa that covers them from head to toe.
  • 7. Whipping, beating and verbal abuse against women who do not dress according to Taliban rules, or against women who are not accompanied by their ‘mahram’.
  • 8. Whipping in public against women who do not hide their ankles.
  • 9. Public stoning of women accused of having sexual relations outside of marriage.
  • 10. It is forbidden to wear makeup.
  • 11. It is forbidden to speak or shake hands with men who are not his ‘mahram’.
  • 12. It is forbidden to laugh out loud.
  • 13. It is forbidden to wear high heels, which can produce sound when walking (a man cannot hear a woman’s footsteps).
  • 14. It is forbidden to ride a taxi without your ‘mahram’.
  • 15. It is forbidden to have a presence on radio, television or in public meetings of any kind.
  • 16. It is forbidden to practice sports or enter any sports center or club.
  • 17. It is forbidden to ride bicycles or motorcycles, not even with their ‘mahram’.
  • 18. It is forbidden to wear colorful clothing. In Taliban terms, these are “sexually attractive colors.”
  • 19. It is forbidden to gather for holidays or recreational purposes.
  • 20. It is forbidden to wash clothes in rivers or public squares.
  • 21. Modification of the entire nomenclature of streets and squares that include the word “woman”.
  • 22. Prohibition of women to look out of the balconies of their apartments or houses.
  • 23. Mandatory opacity of all windows, so that women cannot be seen from outside their homes.
  • 24. Tailors are prohibited from measuring women and sewing women’s clothing.}
  • 25. Women’s access to public toilets is prohibited.
  • 26. Prohibition of women and men from traveling in the same group, which are divided into “only men” or “only women”.
  • 27. It is forbidden to wear flared trousers, even if they are worn under the burqa.
  • 28. It is forbidden to photograph women.
  • 29. Prohibition of the existence of images of women printed in magazines and books, or hung on the walls of houses and shops.

But these weren’t the only bans that ruled under Taliban rule in the past. For example, it was forbidden to listen to music, watch movies, television and any type of video. Furthermore, all persons with a non-Islamic name were forced to change it.

In addition, the youth were obliged to shave their hair and the men to wear Islamic clothing and caps. Men could not shave or trim their beards.

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