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Afghan women defy burqa order as Taliban internal divide deepens

by Kathy Gannon, Associated Press from United States

Afghan women defy burqa order as Taliban internal divide deepens

Afghan women were openly defying the Taliban’s new order to cover all but their eyes and hands in Kabul over the weekend. Analysts say the burqa order reflects the divide between the Taliban government’s hardliners and pragmatists.

148643Afghan women are furious and fearful over a recent decree by the Taliban that reinstated the burqa and similar outfits as mandatory for them in public. But some are finding the courage to defy the strict dress codes.Ebrahim Noroozi/AP

May 9, 2022

Arooza was furious and afraid, keeping her eyes open for Taliban on patrol as she and a friend shopped Sunday in Kabul’s Macroyan neighborhood.

The math teacher was concerned her large shawl, wrapped tight around her head, and sweeping pale brown coat would not satisfy the latest decree by the country’s religiously driven Taliban government. After all, more than just her eyes were showing. Her face was visible.

Arooza, who asked to be identified by just one name to avoid attracting attention, wasn’t wearing the all-encompassing burqa preferred by the Taliban, who on Saturday issued a new dress code for women appearing in public. The edict said only a woman’s eyes should be visible.

The decree by the Taliban’s hardline leader Hibaitullah Akhunzada even suggested women shouldn’t leave their homes unless necessary and outlines a series of punishments for male relatives of women violating the code.

It was a major blow to the rights of women in Afghanistan, who for two decades had been living with relative freedom before the Taliban takeover last August – when United States and other foreign forces withdrew in the chaotic end to a 20-year war.

Page created on 6/20/2022 10:46:17 PM

Last edited 6/20/2022 10:58:17 PM

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