Afghanistan: No long-distance travel for women without male relative and Co-education is against Islamic values

Different newspapers have given a different emphasis to yesterday’s pronouncements by the Taliban on the matter of Afghan womens human rights. From Al Jazeera and Indian newspaper WION

Acting Afghan Higher Education Minister Abdul Baqi Haqqani on Sunday said ”co-education is against Islamic values.” He also added that his government does not oppose women’s education but rather the concept of men and women studying together. ““The Islamic Emirate is not against women’s education but it is against co-education … We are working on building an Islamic environment where women could study … it might take some time,” he said, without specifying when girls might return to school and university classes across the country.

“Women travelling for more than 72km (45 miles) should not be offered a ride if they are not accompanied by a close family member,”  spokesman (for) the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice,Sadeq Akif Muhajir said, specifying that the companion must be male.

The new guidance, circulated on social media networks, also asked people to stop playing music in their vehicles.

The guidance issued on Sunday … also called on vehicle owners to refuse rides to women not wearing headscarves, has drawn condemnation from rights activists. Human Rights Watch has slammed the guidance.

“This new order essentially moves … further in the direction of making women prisoners,” Heather Barr, the group’s associate director of women’s rights, told the AFP news agency. It “shuts off opportunities for them to be able to move about freely, to travel to another city, to do business, (or) to be able to flee if they are facing violence in the home,”

The Taliban’s definition of the hijab – which can range from a hair covering to a face veil or full-body covering – is unclear, and most Afghan women already wear headscarves.


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