Wear a burqa or chador or stay inside, Taliban tell women in Jawzjan

Taliban vice and virtue agents in Jawzjan province beat girls and women because they were not wearing burqas and chadors on Monday, November 28. The assaults come as the Taliban put up posters and made announcements in Sheberghan city about how women should dress. As of now, they must dress according to the harsh standards of the Taliban, otherwise, women and girls will not have the right to walk around the city. 

Local sources tell Zan Times that the Taliban are violently enforcing the new rule by physically assaulting girls and women who weren’t wearing burqas in the city’s markets and streets. 

This source says that the Taliban warned people that from now on they will flog any woman not wearing a burqa or a long black hijab. 

Nargis*, a 20-year-old resident of Sheberghan city, was one of the women attacked by the Taliban agents. “I had come to the city without knowing [about the new edict], and when I was passing Muntazim market, I was suddenly whipped on my shoulder,” she recounts to Zan Times. “A man told me to stop. When I stopped, I saw a Talib in front of me who started swearing at me and calling me the cause of social corruption and scolded me not to walk around the city without a burqa or a black chapan [long coat].” She was so fearful of the Talib that she quickly left the market.  

Rahila* witnessed the attacks while in the city to buy winter clothes for her children. “Tall men with blackened eyes and long hair, wearing white robes, were promoting the wearing of the burqa for women. I saw them assaulting two girls who were wearing relatively short outfits” she says to Zan Times. 

In addition to their own enforcement of the new rules, the Taliban have also asked men to prevent women in their families from leaving their homes without a burqa, a shopkeeper in the city reports. 

This new restriction against the presence of women was implemented a few days after the Taliban ordered taxi drivers in Jawzjan not to allow women to ride in their cars if they were travelling without their mahrams. 

Since the Taliban have come to power they have imposed increasingly severe restrictions on women and have deprived many of the opportunity to earn a living. While the country is engulfed by a humanitarian crisis, this leaves many female-led households in a very precarious situation. In addition to the new clothing restrictions in Jawzjan, the Taliban is also making it difficult for women to continue operating businesses. Recently, the Taliban in Daikundi passed a series of rules that stated women business owners couldn’t interact with men or even handle men’s clothing in their businesses. In October, the UN Development Programme reported that the Taliban restrictions on women’s work could cost the country US$1 billion, equivalent to five percent of the country’s GDP.  

 
*Names have been changed to protect the identity of the interviewees. 

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