Afghanistan's Taliban leadership ordered all Afghan women to wear the all-covering burka in public, the ministry of vice and virtue said Saturday. The move evoked similar restrictions on women during the Taliban's previous hard-line rule between 1996 and 2001. "We want our sisters to live with dignity and safety," said Khalid Hanafi, acting minister for the ministry, per the AP. If a woman defies the order and doesn't cover her face outside the home, her father or closest male relative would receive a visit and face imprisonment or job termination, a ministry spokesperson said, per Reuters.
Per a decree on the matter issued by Taliban officials, it was also noted that if women had no pressing work to do, it was "better they stay at home," reports Al Arabiya. The Taliban previously decided against reopening schools to girls above grade 6, reneging on an earlier promise and opting to appease their hard-line base at the expense of further alienating the international community. That decision disrupted efforts by the Taliban to win recognition from potential international donors at a time when the country is mired in a worsening humanitarian crisis. The international community has urged Taliban leaders to reopen schools.
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