Women workers must cover up 'even with a blanket', say Afghan Taliban

Women workers must cover up ‘even with a blanket’, say Afghan Taliban


KABUL: Women working in Afghan government offices must be covered – even with a blanket if necessary – or they could lose their jobs, the Taliban’s religious police said on Tuesday.
Most women have been barred from holding government jobs since the Taliban came to power in August, although Afghanistan’s new rulers claim they will be allowed to return if certain conditions are met – such as a separate office.
On Tuesday, the Ministry of Virtue Promotion and Sin Prevention issued a statement saying women should not go to work if they are not properly covered and could be fired if they do not follow the guidelines.
During the Taliban’s first term in office from 1996 to 2001, the ministry gained notoriety for its harsh interpretation of Islamic leadership.
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.
“They can follow the hijab any way they want,” ministry spokesman Mohammad Sadeq Akif Muhajir told AFP.
But when asked if that meant wearing the full Dhaka burqa that the Taliban had made compulsory during their previous rule, he was hesitant.
“They can wear any other type of hijab, it’s up to them, but they must (cover) properly … even a blanket,” he said.
During the previous regime under the Taliban, a strict interpretation of Islam meant policing people’s daily habits, work and dress.
Western clothing was forbidden, men were instructed not to shave, and people were beaten if they did not come to prayer early.
Despite promising a softer version of their rule at the time, some stricter bans have been lifted – including banning TV dramas featuring women without an Islamic theme and banning music in public.
Although some national orders have been issued, and regulations seem to have been introduced throughout the country, largely based on the will of local authorities or in accordance with customary practices in conservative areas.

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