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Afghan woman praying. Image to illustrate note of Taliban repression against women
Despite promises, the Taliban continue to carry out repressive policies against women. Photo: Pixabay.

The Taliban and its new restrictive measures against women

Women in Afghanistan wishing to travel long distances will not be able to do so unless they are in the company of a man.

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After the chaotic images of families fleeing Afghanistan with the return of the Taliban to power in August, the new leaders of the country have shown little sign of changing the repressive policies of its past.

Only accompanied trips

Women are once again at the forefront of the restrictive measures, this time limiting their ability to travel long distances. 

In one of its most recent interventions, the Taliban government, through its Ministry of the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, announced that Afghan women who attempt to travel long distances by road may only do so in the company of a man of her family.

The authoritative imposition applies to trips of more than 70 kilometers, while requiring them to wear headscarves to be allowed into a vehicle.

Television without women?

Just a few weeks ago, the Taliban regime ordered Afghan production companies to refrain from broadcasting series or soap operas with women characters.

Likewise, journalists are required to wear headscarves every time they appear on screen, meaning none are allowed to show their hair.

No access to education

Already during the group's rise to power in the 1990s, the Taliban vetoed women from education and work, something they seem ready to repeat with "temporary restrictions." The measures assure they seek to offer safe spaces for girls and adults.

With Taliban control of Afghanistan, secondary schools are only open to male students and teachers, while female workers were banned from their trades and ordered to stay at home.

No prospects?

Despite their commitments to the international community and their supposed intention to govern in a way that is more respectful of the rights of girls and women, the Taliban continue to show no sign of a true will for change and, on the contrary, continue implementing measures restricting their freedom and equality in Afghanistan.

For now, the economic blockades and complaints from international human rights entities have not had an effect on the regime. Will they want to change their image next year? If they want help and acceptance, they must.

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