A year after the return of the Taliban, women’s prospects are increasingly bleak

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Since August 15, 2021, the Taliban have taken control of Afghanistan. On the political front, religious fundamentalists have established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, which applies Islamic law in a strict manner. Women have seen their rights eroded dramatically.

From our correspondent in Kabul,

Women’s rights are on the decline in Afghanistan, starting with the rights of workers. Women were initially barred from political life. Under the Afghan Republic of Afghanistan, in Parliament, women occupied 27.7% of the seats in the House of Representatives, and they were also reserved for half of the seats in the Senate. The political sphere is now exclusively male. Women are prohibited.

Some women still work at Kabul airport, in some security forces. On the other hand, female employees were banned in many ministries. You still see a little in the Ministries of Education and Health as well as the Interior, but nothing in the Ministry of Finance. The authorities asked them to send men to work in their place.

Full veils, banned schools and male escorts

Former employees of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the State Department explained to the RFI that they had been asked to stay at home. They only receive part of their salary. One got 120,000 afghanis a month, or 1,300 euros under the old system. The Taliban now only pays him the equivalent of €218 per month.

Apart from work, women have lost many other rights such as the right to education because colleges and secondary schools are still closed to girls. Women are subject by decree to the obligation to wear full hijab on the street. They must be accompanied by a male companion when traveling over 72 km. Furthermore, many NGOs, when hiring a woman, must sign a support contract with their facilities. Agents from the Ministry of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice are now patrolling city streets to verify that these rules are being followed. But the women continue defy taboos And you still see them walking in the city streets, a simple veil over their heads, their faces uncovered.

To a lesser extent, men are also affected. They are not subject to labor restrictions. But it is highly recommended to wear a beard. Some men with modern haircuts or no beards were reprimanded and even beaten. A Kabul resident explained to RFI that he saw policemen arriving at the swimming pool he frequented, who came to check the length of the men’s swimwear, except for those whose swimwear did not cover up to the knees and who ordered that the boys were underage. He cannot swim at the same time as adults. All of these restrictions have changed the atmosphere in the country, especially in cities like Kabul.

Listen also: Decoding – Women in Afghanistan: Back to Hell under the Taliban

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