The Taliban's latest edict restricting women's rights and liberties since they seized control more than a year ago prohibits women from utilizing gymnasiums and parks.
Since the fundamentalist organization took control of the country in August 2021, when the United States withdrew its soldiers, it has consistently disregarded its commitment to allow women to keep some of the privileges they gained during the transitional phase.
It has prohibited females from attending middle and high school, limited women's employment opportunities, and mandated that they wear head-to-toe clothes in public.
A representative for the Ministry of Virtue and Vice explained that the new prohibition on gyms and parks is being implemented because people are disobeying gender segregation orders and women are not wearing the mandatory hijab.
According to Mohammed Akef Mohajer, the ban went into effect this week.
During the preceding fifteen months, he claimed, the Taliban had "done its best" to avoid banning parks and gyms to women, mandating distinct days of the week for male and female access, and instituting gender segregation.
Mohajer stated, "Unfortunately, the directives were not followed and the rules were broken, thus we had to close parks and gyms for women." "In the majority of instances, we have observed men and women coexisting in parks without the hijab being worn. Therefore, we had to come up with a new plan, and for the time being, all parks and gyms are closed to women."
He stated that Taliban troops would begin monitoring businesses to determine if ladies were still using them.
A female personal trainer stated that women and men do not exercise or train together in the Kabul fitness center where she works.
"The Taliban are lying," she claimed, speaking anonymously for fear of retribution. "We trained alone."
She reported that on Thursday, two guys purporting to be from the Ministry of Virtue and Vice entered her gym and forced all the women to leave.
She continued, "The women intended to protest the closing of the gyms, but the Taliban came and arrested them." Now, it is unknown whether they are living or dead.
Khalid Zadran, the spokesman for the Taliban-appointed police commander of Kabul, stated that he had no immediate knowledge regarding women protesting gym closures or arrests.
Alison Davidian, the UN special representative for women in Afghanistan, criticized the restriction. She stated, "This is another another instance of the Taliban's continuing and methodical elimination of women from public life." "We demand that the Taliban restore all women's and girls' rights and liberties."
The Taliban-led administration, which struggles to rule and is internationally isolated, appears to be dominated by hardliners. Since the takeover, the economic collapse has pushed millions more Afghans into poverty and famine, while foreign help has dwindled to a trickle.
Sodaba Nazhand, a Kabul-based advocate for women's rights, stated that the bans on gyms, parks, work, and schools will leave many Afghan women asking what is left for them.
She stated, "It is not only a restriction for women, but also for children." "Youngsters visit a park with their mothers, but today children are prohibited from visiting the park as well. It's very tragic and unjust."