Taliban officials have ordered national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to stop working after “serious complaints” that women did not follow an appropriate dress code, the peace ministry told AFP on Saturday.
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“There are serious complaints about non-compliance with Islamic hijab and other rules and regulations related to women’s work in national and international institutions,” the ministry responsible for approving licenses of NGOs operating in Afghanistan said in a letter. By AFP. A ministry spokesperson confirmed that the Ministry of Economy had sent the directive to the NGOs. “If the order (…) is ignored, the organization’s license issued by this ministry will be revoked”, notes the Courier.
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The announcement comes four days after the Taliban government decided to indefinitely ban Afghan women from enrolling in public and private universities in the country. Higher Education Minister Neda Mohamed Nadeem explained in a television interview that the decision was taken because “students who went to university (…) did not respect the instructions on hijab”. “Hijab is compulsory in Islam,” he said, referring to the need for women in Afghanistan to cover their faces and entire bodies.
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Despite promising to be more flexible, the Taliban returned to an ultra-strict interpretation of Islam, marking their first spell in power (1996-2001). Since their return to power in August 2021, harsh measures against women, who have been phased out of public life and excluded from colleges and high schools, have multiplied.
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