Afghan women, mostly barefaced, demonstrated last Tuesday, May 10, in Kabul, Afghanistan to protest against the Taliban regime’s recent decision to force them to cover their faces when in public places.
“The burqa is not our hijab” and “Justice, justice! The burqa is not ours” were some of the messages shouted by the protesters, who walked nearly 200 meters before being dispersed by the Taliban.
On Saturday, May 9, the Afghan government published a decree, approved by the Taliban’s supreme leader, Haibatullah Ahundzada, which prohibits women and girls in the country from showing their faces in public. In the decree, they indicated that, according to tradition, they preferred women to wear a burqa, a blue veil that leaves only a mesh at eye level. It should be noted that they explained that other veils that cover the entire face except for the eyes will also be tolerated.
Those who fail to comply with the provisions will be assigned a “guardian”, this is normally the husband or a direct relative of the woman who disobeys, who will be in charge of monitoring each of their steps. In extreme cases, women could be detained.
We want to live as human beings, not as animals, locked in a corner of the houses.
– Saira Sama Alimyar, protester
UNAMA is deeply concerned with today’s announcement by the Taliban that all women must cover their faces in public, should only leave their homes in cases of necessity, & that violations will lead to the punishment of their male relatives.
Full statements: https://t.co/D7XEsmv1te pic.twitter.com/Iw35PbDju5
— UNAMA News (@UNAMAnews) May 7, 2022
The decree has not only generated discontent and indignation among Afghan citizens, since the international community has spoken about it. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), a mission created at the request of the government of this country to help establish clear foundations for human development and peace, said the following on social media :
UNAMA is deeply concerned by today’s announcement by the Taliban that all women must wear a face covering in public, should only leave their homes in times of need, and that rapes will lead to the punishment of their male relatives.
– United Nations
The decree also mentions that women who work in relevant departments and do not wear a hijab will be fired from their jobs without hesitation or exception.
After this decree came to light, organizations such as the UN and the United States government have mentioned that the Taliban continue to restrict the rights of people and, if it continues like this, their society could suffer one of the greatest setbacks of the human rights history.