New Taliban order prohibits women from travelling without a male chaperon

New Taliban order prohibits women from travelling without a male chaperone


The Taliban has continued its regime of heavy-handed restrictions on the rights of Afghan women, issuing a directive to airlines that women without a male chaperon cannot board domestic or international flights. 

Two sources representing the Taliban told Reuters on Sunday that the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice sent a letter to airlines the previous day to inform them of the new policy. 

The statement clarified that women without a male chaperone, who already held tickets, were permitted to travel on Sunday and Monday, though some have reportedly been turned away at airports in Kabul. 

The statement did not address potential exemptions to the rule, such as in emergencies, for women who do not have a male relative in the country, or for women with dual citizenship. 

Reuters said they had not been able to obtain any further comments from the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue, the Prevention of Vice, nor the Ministry of Culture and Information. 

The latest restriction on women’s travel rights comes just a few days after the Taliban banned girls beyond primary school to attend school.

Hava Rezaie, a Sydney-based Hazara community leader, refugee women’s rights advocate, and member of the Advisory Committee member at Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Australia’s Finding Safety project, told Women’s Agenda that under the current regime in Afghanistan, millions of girls are not allowed to school.

“We can see once again women and girls should give the price of peace,” she said.

“There are thousands of women who lost her husbands in a suicide bombing or in the army and now they are not allowed to work and don’t have any income, how they can survive and provide food for their children?”

“Women are only allowed to leave the house if a man from the family accompanies them. Basic human rights have been taken away from women.How can a mother whose child is sick and her husband was killed in the war and no longer has a Muharram (Father or Brother) with her, under Taliban law take her sick child to the doctor?”

“If women and girls are break any of these rules, they will be facing the toughest punishment. Taliban’s version of extreme ideology is the same which was enforced during their 5 years regime twenty years ago.”

“I saw in social media a mother selling her baby so she could to provide food for the rest of her children, also another selling her kidney for the same reason. It is heartbroken.”

“I resaved lots of calls from my finds who were activist. Some of them trapped in Kabul and other provinces and can’t leave the country, currently they are in terror and panic and keep moving places to hide so they are not identified by the Taliban.”

“Some that they left their houses, their families were beaten and were injured by the Taliban. Taliban, currently searching to find people door by door and house to house.”

Since the Taliban’s takeover in August last year, women’s rights have gradually curtailed. In January, UN Women issued a status update on the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan, revealing numerous women have lost jobs under the Taliban, while girls only had access to secondary schools in seven of 34 provinces. 

Last Friday, US officials cancelled plans to meet with Taliban officials on key economic issues due to its decision last week to restrict girls’ education. 

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