Afghan Taliban authorities said on Sunday that women who want to travel anything other than short distances should not be allowed transportation unless accompanied by a close male relative.
The directive, issued by the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, also called on all vehicle owners to offer rides only to women wearing Islamic hijab.
“Women traveling more than 72 kilometers should not be offered a ride if they are not accompanied by a close relative,” ministry spokesman Sadeq Akif Muhajir told AFP on Sunday, specifying that it must be a close male relative. are.
The guidelines, circulated on social media, come weeks after the ministry asked Afghan television channels to stop showing dramas and soap operas featuring female actors.
The ministry had also urged female TV journalists to wear headscarves while presenting.
Muhajir said on Sunday that the hijab would also be mandatory for women seeking transportation. The ministry’s directive also asked people to stop playing music in their vehicles.
The Taliban’s interpretation of the hijab — which can range from a hair covering to a face veil or a full body covering — is unclear, and the majority of Afghan women already wear headscarves.
Since taking power in August, the Taliban have imposed various restrictions on women and girls, despite promising a softer rule compared to their first stint in power in the 1990s.
Local Taliban authorities in several provinces have been persuaded to reopen schools, but many girls still remain cut off from secondary education.
Earlier this month, the Islamist group issued a decree in the name of their supreme leader instructing the government to uphold women’s rights.
The decree made no mention of girls’ access to education.
Activists hope the Taliban’s struggle to gain international recognition and return aid to one of the world’s poorest countries will lead them to make concessions to women.
Respect for women’s rights has been repeatedly cited by major donors worldwide as a precondition for aid recovery.
Women’s rights were severely curtailed during the previous period of the Taliban in power.
They were then forced to wear the all-covering burqa, were allowed to leave the house only with a male chaperone, and were banned from work and education.
(This story was not edited by DailyExpertNews staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)