KABUL – In an address to a gathering in Badakhshan province, Khalid Hanafi, Taliban’s acting minister of vice and virtue, has defended the decision to impose hijab regulations for women in Afghanistan. Hanafi claims that this policy does not infringe upon women’s rights and is supported by the majority of Afghans. He emphasized the importance of enforcing these regulations within an Islamic framework.
Over the past two years, the Taliban has implemented stringent restrictions on women in Afghanistan, including banning them from attending universities, visiting amusement parks, and accessing Band-e-Amir National Park in Bamiyan, among other measures. Girls have also been barred from attending secondary schools, and women have been prohibited from working in non-governmental organizations since last December.
Hanafi responded to criticism regarding the hijab requirement by stating that it aligns with Islamic law and culture. He argued that it is not appropriate for strangers to sit together in the same room dressed in jeans and coats.
However, many Afghan women have expressed that these actions by the Taliban have significantly eroded their freedoms and rights over the past two years. Afghanistan is now the only country in the world where women and girls are denied the right to education. Maryam, a student, expressed her concern about her future and her desire to continue her studies.
One of the key criticisms from Afghan women is that the international community has largely overlooked the Taliban’s discriminatory policies against them. Women’s rights activists, including Zarmina Paryani in Germany, are calling on the world to stand with them and prevent the daily oppression by a terrorist group.
The United Nations has reported that in the past two years, the Taliban has issued more than 50 directives that have denied or restricted the freedoms and rights of women. Despite numerous appeals, the Taliban has not eased these restrictions against women and girls in Afghanistan during this period.