In its latest decree, the Taliban’s Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice stated that women must observe the full “hijab” in order to ride in taxi vehicles. The decree not only targets Afghan women, but penalizes male guardians of women who defy the Taliban’s policing of women’s lives and face punishment by imprisonment. Drivers who service women also face punishment by the Taliban, with reports of Taliban officials berating and beating them, and confiscating their vehicle.
A statement from the Taliban in 2022 suggested women wear the burqa, a blue polyester fabric containing a mesh grill for the eyes only, or a black veiled garment covering the entire body – from head to toe. It must not hug a woman’s figure, nor reveal it through thin material.
The most recent decree requires that women wear full covering, which offers little to no explicit guidance as to what constitutes proper hijab, leaving it up to vague interpretation and room for persecution should any Taliban official personally decide a woman has or has not fulfilled the standard.
The Taliban’s tactic of oppressing women through threats of punishment and violence against male guardians reinforces the strength of the Taliban’s gender apartheid regime, and turns the average Afghan man into an active perpetrator of discrimination and terror against women for his own survival.
DW 07/29/2022; Aljazeera 05/08/2022; Aljazeera 05/07/2022