On Saturday, the Taliban leadership issued an order prohibiting women from leaving their houses without the burqa, a garment that covers them from head to toe, reviving a controversial regulation from the Taliban's 1995-2001 era in Afghanistan.
The Taliban's leader, Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzad, signed a proclamation approving the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice's proposed law on the garment.
According to the order, any clothing covering a woman's body is permissible. As it is not too tight or thin to disclose her body, ministry spokesperson Akif Muhajir told Anadolu Agency from Kabul, Afghanistan.
The permissible garment "covers the entire body," he added, adding that this law applies to females who have reached puberty, which can occur between the ages of 10 and 13 per the girl's growth.
The Taliban considered the burqa to be the oldest traditional clothing and the best garment for women, and when they governed Afghanistan from 1995 to 2001, they mandated that women wear burqas.
"They will be given warnings in the first phase, but if they do not follow the law, they will be fired," Muhajir added, "If they do not respect the law, they will be fired."
He stated that the exact requirement would be imposed on educational institutions, closed since the Taliban recaptured power in August, causing the United States to remove its forces early.
Before installing an interim government by the Taliban, women's rights were the subject of several demonstrations staged in different sections of the nation. However, the Taliban later outlawed rallies held without permission.
Muhajir attempted to deflect a question regarding other countries, raising concerns about restrictions on women's rights by stating that if no one criticizes Western countries' bans on Muslim face coverings, they have no right to question the Taliban's decision to make burqas mandatory.
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Under the new Taliban regulation, the media are required to broadcast the law, including its significance and alleged benefits and the downsides of not wearing burqas.
In phase two, male guardians of women who are not covered will be trained and punished.
If repeated infractions occur, the guardian will be summoned to the relevant department before being taken to court, where the sentence will be determined.