For the first time in decades, women in Afghanistan will face mandatory use of face veils or get punished.
This comes as another development on women’s rights since the conservative insurgent group Taliban, took over power in Afghanistan in 2021.
In a report by the BBC, any woman who refuses to comply and wear a face veil stands the chance of her male guardians being sent to jail for three days.
Although The Taliban took over power last year, this is not the first time they have made a rule that women should wear burqas and face veils. The rules of head coverings were first enforced in the 1990s when they had their first encounter with power.
This decree was passed by the Taliban’s Ministry for the Prevention of Vice and Promotion of Virtue and officials from the Taliban government described the decree as an “advice”.
However, they also laid out steps that would be taken against any woman who doesn’t comply.
- In the first instance their home would be visited and their husband, brother or father would be talked to.
- In the second, their male guardian would be summoned to the ministry.
- In the third, the male guardian would be taken to court and could be jailed for three days.
Since the Taliban’s takeover in 2021, girls have been disallowed from going to school and the Afghan ministry of women’s affairs was also disbanded. In addition, women in many cases have not been allowed to work.
Although many women in Afghanistan already wear a form of the face veil as it is a Muslim majority country, this newer imposition of the face veil has the potential of going further to reduce Afghan women’s agency and freedom over clothing.