Taliban prevent female Kabul official from going to work

The Taliban demanded that female Kabul government employees who do not return to work next week, but still pay them.

Neamatullah Barakzai, head of the Taliban’s public awareness agency in Kabul, said on October 21 that many female government officials in the capital were asked not to go to work, while the Taliban made new plans for them. This is seen as a sign that the Taliban will continue to restrict women’s rights in Afghanistan.

The ban does not apply to female employees working in the health and education sectors. Barakzai added that the Taliban will still guarantee the pay of all female government officials even if they do not come to work.

After taking control of Afghanistan, the Taliban pledged to guarantee women’s rights within the framework of Islamic law. During the 1996-2001 period, the Taliban imposed many harsh measures on women, such as not allowing them to go to school, work and not go out without a male escort.

Taliban soldiers face a group of Afghan women protesting in Kabul on September 8.  Photo: Los Angeles Times.

Taliban soldiers face a group of Afghan women protesting in Kabul on September 8. Photo: Los Angeles Times.

The Taliban’s deputy prime minister, Abdul Salam Hanafi, during a visit to Russia this week also pledged to allow Afghan women to continue working in police stations and passport offices.

“We are trying to provide working conditions for women in areas where they are needed, according to Islamic law,” Hanafi said, ensuring Afghan women “are not discriminated against”.

Many Afghan women still regularly demonstrate across the country to protest against work and study restrictions imposed by the Taliban government. Afghan women have also asked to join the new government, after the Taliban announced an all-male interim cabinet in September.

Afghanistan is in economic crisis after the Taliban took control of the country. Several countries that have donated billions of dollars in aid to Afghanistan are calling on the Taliban to show progress in its policies on women and citizenship before resuming cash flows.

Ngoc Anh (Follow Washington Post)

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