According to information received by UNAMA, this is a formal directive rather than a recommendation, any violations of which will lead to the punishment of male relatives.
UNAMA is deeply concerned with today’s announcement by the Taliban that all women must cover their faces in public, should only leave their homes in cases of necessity, & that violations will lead to the punishment of their male relatives.
Full statement: https://t.co/D7XEsmv1tepic.twitter.com/Iw35PbDju5
— UNAMA News (@UNAMAnews) May 7, 2022
“This decision contradicts numerous assurances regarding respect for and protection of all Afghans’ human rights, including those of women and girls, that had been provided to the international community by Taliban representatives during discussions and negotiations over the past decade,” the UNAMA statement said.
Following the Taliban takeover in August 2021, the Taliban assured that women would be afforded their rights, whether in work, education, or society at large.
Female rights in crosshairs, again
News reports on the decree, which calls for women to only show their eyes and recommends they wear the head-to-toe burqas, say that this latest whittling of their rights in the country evokes similar restrictions from the Taliban’s previous rule between 1996 and 2001.
It also follows the reneging on an earlier promise to appease their hardline rule at the expense of further alienating the international community, which has been eager for signs that the de facto authority is ready for positive relations with the wider world.
After seizing power, the Taliban confirmed in September that secondary schools were reopening, but that only boys would be returning to the classroom.
Women teachers throughout the country were also unable to resume work.
Six weeks ago, the de facto authority decided again to postpone secondary schooling for Afghan girls – drawing wide international, regional, and local condemnation.
This latest decision by the Taliban threatens to further strain engagement with the international community.
“UNAMA will immediately request meetings with the Taliban de facto authorities to seek clarification on the status of this decision,” the statement continued, adding that UNAMA would also engage in consultations with members of the international community regarding the implications of this latest decree.