The Taliban are ordering women in Afghanistan to cover themselves from head to toe

The Taliban rulers of Afghanistan have ordered all Afghan women to wear head-to-toe clothing in public, in a marked shift towards a stricter application of religious rules.

On Saturday, the Taliban Ministry of Vices and Virtues said that only women’s eyes should be visible in public and that wearing the burqa from head to toe was the best way to ensure compliance.

“Women who are not wearing hijabs should first be identified, their guardians should be warned and the women themselves should be punished,” said ministry official Shir Mohammad.

Second, their guardians should be brought to the relevant department for an explanation. Third, their guardians are expected to be jailed for three days. Fourth, their guardians should be tried and punished accordingly. “

“Those women who aren’t too old or young have to cover their faces, except their eyes,” she said.

The decree added that if women did not have important external jobs, it is better for them to stay at home. “Islamic principles and Islamic ideology are more important to us than anything else,” said Hanafi of the Ministry of Vices and Virtues.

Senior Afghanistan researcher Heather Barr of Human Rights Watch urged the international community to exert coordinated pressure on the Taliban.

“(It has) been a long time for a serious and strategic response to the growing Taliban attack on women’s rights,” she tweeted.

The Taliban were ousted in 2001 by a US-led coalition for hosting al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and returned to power following America’s chaotic departure last year.

Women lead protests in the Afghan capital Kabul after the Taliban seized power in August last year, but in much of the country it is religious conservatives who have the upper hand over more progressive leaders.