After promising inclusivity, Taliban orders women workers to 'stay home'
The Taliban has asked many female employees in Kabul city to stay home, interim city mayor Hamdullah Namony said. Namony said that only those women whose work cannot be replaced by men have been permitted to work. Notably, before the Taliban's hostile takeover of Afghanistan in mid-August, roughly one-third of Kabul city employees were women. Here are more details.
According to the mayor, among those women who are permitted to work include skilled workers in the design and engineering departments as well as female attendants of public toilets for women. However, he maintained that the final decision to replace women employees in the Kabul municipality department is pending. In the meantime, all women employees would be able to draw their salaries, he said.
The order reflects another example of how the Taliban intends to control women under harsh Shariah law by restricting women's public life. It also raises serious questions on the Taliban's commitment to its own words that it will uphold women's rights. It is noteworthy that in their previous rule in the 1990s, the Taliban had barred women from schools and jobs.
Meanwhile, the Taliban broke another promise on Friday when it reopened secondary schools only for boys. "All male teachers and students should attend their educational institutions," the Taliban's education ministry announced Friday. However, the group denied that women would be banned from secondary education, claiming they are working on a "secure transportation system" for female students before allowing them back into classrooms.
This is not the first instance where the Taliban's actions have contradicted its own claims. While it promised to uphold women's rights, it has abolished the women's affairs ministry. Women were also excluded from the Taliban government, and an all-men Cabinet was formed. Similarly, on the women's education front, wearing a burqa, and the segregation of classrooms based on sex, have been made mandatory.
Since coming back to power, the Taliban has been facing resistance from Afghan women against its policies. A day after the Taliban announced their new government, dozens of women protested on the streets, demanding equal rights and the representation of women in the government.