UN chief Antonio Guterres 'alarmed' on Taliban's 'head-to-toe' cover rule for women
- Women should fully cover themselves in public, ideally with the traditional burqa, statement said
- Those women who are not too old or young must cover their face, except the eyes, as per sharia directives
- The order also asked the women to not go outside if it was not for important work
In one of the severe restrictions on women since the takeover of Taliban in Afghanistan last year, the hardline leadership on Saturday sent shockwaves with an order making it mandatory to wear a head-to-cover, also known as ‘chadori’.
The order, which is set to bring Afghanistan back to where it was over two decades ago, sparked major concerns among the international community, which already fears about the safety of women under the hardliners' rule.
United Nations Chief Secretary-General Antonio Guterres raised alarms over the development and urged the group to "keep their promises to Afghan women and girls, and their obligations under international human rights law."
In a tweet, the UN chief said, "I'm alarmed by today's announcement by the Taliban that women must cover their faces in public and leave home only in cases of necessity. I once again urge the Taliban to keep their promises to Afghan women & girls, and their obligations under international human rights law."
According to a statement, issued by Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada, women should fully cover themselves in public, ideally with the traditional burqa.
"Those women who are not too old or young must cover their face, except the eyes, as per sharia directives, in order to avoid provocation when meeting men who are not mahram (adult close male relatives)," read the statement.
The order also asked the women to not go outside if it was not for important work. The new order also outlined punishments for their male guardians in case women do not comply with the new dress code.
In 2021, Taliban took over Afghanistan in a military offensive, the exit of foreign troops. Following the takeover, the group promised a moderate rule than their previous stint in power between 1996 and 2001.
Though many women in the rural areas already wear burqa or niqab; in the main cities including the capital Kabul, women were reclaiming their freedom in the 20 years between the Taliban's two stints in power.
However, despite the promises, the Taliban government in Afghanistan has been realising the fears of the international community by reintroducing the regressive policies.
In September last year, the United Nations said women's rights in Afghanistan will be a litmus test for the Taliban government. The UN also warned that the group's engagement with the world bodies will depend on the safety of women's rights in Afghanistan.