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Women barred from restaurants with gardens in Herat


Kabul: The authorities on Monday barred entry of families and women into restaurants with gardens or green spaces in Herat province, Afghanistan.

The decision came after religious clerics complained of mixing genders in such places. Afghan officials said that the curbs have been brought in place because of gender mixing or because women allegedly are not wearing the hijab. So far, the ban is applicable to restaurants with green spaces in the Herat province only.

Baz Mohammad Nazir, a deputy official from the Ministry of Vice and Virtue’s directorate in Herat, denied media reports that all restaurants were off limits to families and women, dismissing them as propaganda.

He said it applied only to restaurants with green areas, such as a park, where men and women could meet. “After repeated complaints from scholars and ordinary people, we set limits and closed these restaurants.” Azizurrahman Al Muhajir, who is head of the Vice and Virtue directorate in Herat, said, “It was like a park but they named it a restaurant and men and women were together. Thank God it has been corrected now. Also, our auditors are observing all the parks where men and women go.”

Recently the United Nations said that 3,300 male and female employees of the organization have stayed at home since women were banned from working at UN agencies.

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