After a few days of “resumption of aid” in the West
New guidelines for ‘accompanying male relatives’
A few days after the international community, including the United States and the United Nations, announced that they would resume aid to Afghanistan, the Taliban issued new guidelines against women’s human rights.
AFP news agency reported on the 26th (local time) that the Ministry of Virtue Promotion and Prevention (Ministry of Prevention of Evil), which determines moral norms under the Taliban, has announced new rules regarding women’s riding in vehicles. According to the rules, drivers and owners of vehicles must deny boarding of women unaccompanied by male relatives if they attempt to travel more than 72 km. Also, women who are not wearing the hijab, a traditional Islamic attire that covers their hair, are not allowed in the vehicle.
Human rights groups have criticized the Taliban’s announcement of the guidelines. Heather Barr, deputy director of women’s rights at Human Rights Watch, told AFP that this rule “makes women a prisoner.”
The Taliban’s new women’s rights guidelines are in violation of the promise they made just three weeks ago. Taliban spokesman Zabihula Mujahid issued a ‘Special Proclamation on Women’s Rights’ on the 3rd, saying, “Women are not property, but noble and free human beings.” Accordingly, marriage without the woman’s own consent was prohibited, and if the husband dies, the wife can inherit the property.
However, after the US Treasury Department and the UN Security Council confirmed the resumption of aid to Afghanistan, the mood has changed. Afghan citizens are suffering from severe economic collapse and food shortages after the international community’s financial freeze measures. “Afghanistan is an independent country and the United States should not interfere in its internal affairs,” said Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, deputy foreign minister for political affairs.
Afghan women are concerned that the Taliban’s policies to suppress human rights will be announced one after another. Earlier, the Taliban announced rules to ban female actors from appearing in dramas and to ban women from working in some occupations, such as media and banking. After the Taliban occupation in August, girls’ secondary school education has stopped.