KABUL — The Taliban authorities decreed Saturday that Afghan girls should cowl themselves from head to toe, increasing a collection of onerous restrictions on girls that dictate almost each side of public life.
The authorities’s Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice prompt the burqa as the popular garment for masking a girl’s face, hair and physique. But it didn't mandate sporting the garment so long as girls in any other case cowl themselves with a hijab.
The full-body burqa, lengthy emblematic of patriarchal management of girls’s public apparel in Afghanistan, was described by the ministry as “the good and complete hijab” — a garment with varied variations that cowl a girl’s hair and far or all of her face and physique.
Since the Taliban seized management of Afghanistan in August, Afghan girls have been subjected to a cascade of bulletins proscribing their employment, schooling, journey, deportment and different elements of public life. Many had assumed that the return of a burqa-style physique masking was the inevitable subsequent step.
The burqa, which leaves solely a girl’s fingers and ft seen and features a stitched facial netting for imaginative and prescient, was required by the Taliban when it dominated most of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.
The ministry’s definition of “hijab” Saturday described a garment that “should not be too short or too tight,” the ministry announcement stated. The intent was to obscure the outlines of a girl’s physique, the ministry stated.
In public bulletins concerning girls in current months, the federal government has usually delivered vaguely worded proclamations left open to interpretation. Wary of Western condemnation because the Taliban authorities seeks diplomatic recognition and humanitarian help, many bulletins have appeared to depend on inference and intimidation.
But the ministry, which is chargeable for imposing the federal government’s interpretation of Islamic legislation, was fairly particular Saturday about punishments for the male head of household of girls who fail to stick to the most recent decree.
At a three-hour information convention dominated by pronouncements selling the spiritual virtues of the burqa, ministry officers and Islamic spiritual figures dictated a collection of escalating punishments — together with jail time for male household heads who repeatedly disregarded warnings from authorities officers concerning girls’s apparel.
Reporting From Afghanistan
If a girl didn't put on the prescribed hijab in public, ministry officers would go to her dwelling and advise the male head of the household to require her to conform, the ministry announcement stated.
Failure to conform would lead to a summons to the ministry, the officers stated. If the person nonetheless didn't observe the rules, he could be jailed for 3 days.
If the jail sentence didn't compel adherence, the person could be compelled to seem earlier than a non secular courtroom for additional punishment, ministry officers stated.
Male authorities staff whose wives or daughters fail to cowl themselves in public could be topic to suspension or dismissal, the announcement stated. And the comparatively few girls nonetheless permitted to carry jobs — similar to nurses, medical doctors and lecturers — may very well be fired if they didn't adjust to the rules.
“We want our sisters to live with dignity and safety,” stated Mohammad Khalid Hanafi, the performing Vice and Virtue minister.
Shir Mohammad, a Vice and Virtue official, stated in an announcement that “all dignified Afghan women” ought to cowl themselves from head to toe. “Those women who are not too old or too young must cover their face, except the eyes,” he added.
Since the Taliban takeover in August, extra girls in Kabul seem to have begun sporting burqas. But the vast majority of girls on the streets of the capital have continued to put on much less encompassing variations of hijabs, with many masking solely their hair and leaving most or all of their faces nonetheless seen.
Even underneath the earlier, Western-backed authorities, many ladies — particularly in rural areas and small cities — continued to put on burqas. The historical past of the garment dates again generations in Afghanistan, and is a product of conservative Afghan tradition that lengthy preceded the emergence of the Taliban within the Nineteen Nineties.
At Saturday’s information convention, spiritual audio system delivered dissertations on the Islamic historical past of the hijab and its advantages in response to Islamic legislation and apply.
The ministry instructed officers throughout Afghanistan to place up posters in bazaars and different public places with directions and pictures of accepted clothes for ladies. In current months, small posters have appeared in Kabul depicting head-to-toe hijabs, together with burqas, as correct public apparel for ladies.
On Saturday, ministry officers stated the “ruling, importance and benefits of the hijab” must be mentioned in mosques and distributed via the information media.
In September, the Taliban transformed the earlier authorities’s Ministry of Women’s Affairs to the workplace for the Vice and Virtue ministry. Under the Taliban authorities of the Nineteen Nineties, girls who didn't put on a burqa in public had been usually overwhelmed by Vice and Virtue spiritual police, who additionally delivered warnings to male family.
Also Saturday, a spokesman for an Afghan opposition group that has mounted an insurgency in opposition to the Taliban authorities repeated earlier claims that it had “liberated” three districts within the northern province of Panjshir. Asked whether or not the National Resistance Front, because the motion calls itself, had seized authorities district facilities, the spokesman replied by textual content message, “They were besieged in the district offices,” referring to Taliban officers.
The Taliban authorities spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, stated on Twitter that “no military incident has taken place” in Panjshir or another close by areas. National Resistance Front claims “were not true, no one should be worried,” Mr. Mujahid wrote.
He added that hundreds of Islamic Emirate fighters had been in Panjshir and stopping any navy advances by the entrance.
The National Resistance Front, or N.R.F., was fashioned by a number of leaders or supporters of Afghanistan’s Western-backed authorities earlier than it collapsed final summer time. It is a part of a resistance that consists of a smattering of armed fighters unfold throughout the mountains of northern Afghanistan, in response to interviews with greater than a dozen resistance fighters and leaders.
The N.R.F. has an estimated a number of hundred fighters, lots of them low-ranking officers within the former authorities’s safety forces. It is led by Ahmad Massoud, the son of the deceased Northern Alliance chief Ahmad Shah Massoud. Mr. Massoud left Afghanistan after the Taliban seized energy and has directed the N.R.F. from overseas.
Yaqoob Akbary and Thomas Gibbons-Neff contributed reporting.