This Saturday, the #Taliban authorities in #Afghanistan have decided that #women must cover their faces in public. As an ideal solution, the authorities proposed the blue #chador that became a symbol of the Taliban regime between 1996 and 2001.
Hibatullah Akhundzada, a spokesman for the Taliban's Ministry of Virtue and Vice Prevention, announced at a press conference in #Kabul that the closest male relative of a woman violating the dress code will be issued a warning and will eventually end up in prison or lose his job in the civil service.
As reported by Al Jazeera, a long black veil covering a woman from head to toe is also acceptable as a hijab.
The new regulation is the latest in a series of decrees restricting women's freedoms imposed after the Taliban took power in Afghanistan. The news of the decree was met with widespread condemnation from Afghan activists and other women.
About 40 women have held a rally in the Afghan capital Kabul this Tuesday to protest against the Taliban's decision to require women to cover their faces in public. After the 30-minute rally, Taliban fighters detained the demonstrators and media personnel covering the protest.
"Why should we be treated as third-class citizens if they cannot practice Islam and control their sexual desires? The Taliban killed my brother, my only close male relative, in an attack 18 years ago. Would they lend me another one so they could punish me next time? ” commented 50-year-old Marzia, a university professor and one of the activists.
According to Al Jazeera, the activists have anticipated current developments in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover and attributed blame to the international community for failing to recognize the urgency of the situation.
"The world is betraying an entire generation with its silence," said Huda Khamosh, leader of women's demonstrations in Kabul after the Taliban took power last summer.
"It is a crime against humanity to allow a country to become a prison for half of its population," she said, adding that the consequences of the current situation in Afghanistan would be felt globally.