In a recent decree issued by the Taliban government in Afghanistan, Afghan women must now cover their faces in public with the traditional burqa, according to a statement from the Afghan General Directorate of Administrative Affairs.
The recent decree from the radical Islamic terrorist organization now leading Afghanistan has been one of many policies issued against Afghan women ever since the Biden administration pulled all United States forces from the country.
Under the Taliban of the 1990s, prior to U.S. presence in the country, Afghan women wore the all-encompassing blue burka and some had scarves covering their hair but not their faces. After the U.S. went into Afghanistan and kicked out the Taliban, Afghan women were then free to not wear the burqa without any brutal consequences. Consequently, when the U.S. pulled out of the war-torn state and the Taliban re-emerged, many human rights activists and officials were fearful that the terrorist entity would re-instate its repressive Sharia-like policies.
Shortly after the Taliban took over Afghanistan, Afghan women took to the streets in large and small protests demanding equal rights and for women to be a part of the government. Women carried signs against the new Taliban government, facing down the terrorist fighters who tried to top protesters from marching through Kabul and other areas. The calls from the United Nations demanding the Taliban uphold human rights for women has been ignored, and all previous progress made in the country to advance women’s rights was destroyed.
In past months, the Taliban ordered airlines in Afghanistan to prevent women from flying on a plane without a male relative. Taliban officials met with senior members of various Afghan airlines, issuing a letter ordering restrictions on women traveling on domestic or international flights without a male relative. This came as the terrorist group initiated a ban on long-distance road trips for solo women unless they had a male chaperone to accompany them.
According to reports, the latest decree calls for women to show only their eyes and recommends that they wear the head-to-toe burqa. The Taliban’s acting minister of the Committee for Vice and Virtue, Khalid Hanadi, stated that the government wants women to live with “dignity and safety,” forcing the female population into submission through excessive consequences. Thanks to social media outlets, many human rights groups, activists, and journalists have been able to highlight the Taliban’s actions and the outcries of Afghan women.
Shir Mohammad, another official from the Taliban’s Vice and Virtue Ministry, declared that for Afghan women to be dignified, wearing the hijab is an absolute necessity and optimally the head-to-toe burqa. The official stressed that “Islamic principles” and “Islamic ideology” are the most important things to uphold for the new government no matter what the costs may be.
According to Robert Spencer, a fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and Director at Jihad Watch, “the U.S. should withhold all aid unless and until women are granted basic rights, but they will not do this, as the Taliban’s treatment of women is based on Islamic law, and they don’t want to appear ‘Islamophobic.’ Women who push back against this could be beaten or even killed.”
In addition to reinstating the burqa on Afghan women, the Taliban decided against reopening schools to girls above the sixth grade to appease the hardline Islamic base, alienating themselves from the international community. This decision along with the burqa ban, has prevented the Taliban from winning recognition from potential international donors at a time when the country’s humanitarian crisis continues to worsen.
Ever since the terrorist entity took power, not only has the group engaged in violating the human rights of Afghans daily, but has also struggled to transition from war to actual governance, pitting hardliners against what some might call pragmatists. The Taliban has also taken their girls to friendly Islamic countries like Pakistan, while Afghan women and girls have been targeted by their repressive decrees. Only a handful of provinces in Afghanistan continue to provide education to all women and young girls regardless of what consequences they might face.