The Taliban has told Afghan women who work to remain at home, saying they are not safe when the militant group’s soldiers are roaming the streets.
On Tuesday, Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said at a news conference that women should not go to work for their own safety, and that this guidance would only be temporary.
He believes that this advice would ensure women are not “treated in a disrespectful way” or “God forbid, hurt.”
Mujahid admitted the measure was necessary since Taliban’s soldiers “keep changing and are not trained.”
“We are happy for them to enter the buildings but we want to make sure they do not face any worries,” he said.
“Therefore, we have asked them to take time off from work until the situation gets back to a normal order and women related procedures are in place, then they can return to their jobs once it’s announced.”
Mujahid’s instruction to Afghan women on Tuesday undermine the group’s attempt to convince the rest of the world that they would be more tolerant towards women than when they were in the past.
Since its takeover of the capital on August 15, the Taliban have claimed that women will be able to access higher education under its laws, saying “thousands” of schools will continue to operate.
Last week, Taliban insurgents shot and killed a woman for not wearing a burqa in Takhar, a province north-east of the capital. The woman reportedly refused to wear a burqa.
Earlier this week, the World Bank stopped its funding in Afghanistan, expressing concerns about the safety of Afghan women.
World Bank spokesperson Marcela Sanchez-Bender told CNN they are “…deeply concerned about the situation in Afghanistan and the impact on the country’s development prospects, especially for women.”
Human Rights Watch director John Fisher said in a statement that the UN “failed to create a strong human rights monitoring body and meet its responsibility to protect the Afghan people.”
“[The resolution] is a slap in the face to Afghan human rights defenders and women’s rights activists who are watching in horror as the rule of law crumbles around them,” he said.