The Taliban are banning ladies from utilizing gyms in Afghanistan, an official in Kabul mentioned Thursday, the spiritual group’s newest edict cracking down on ladies’s rights and freedoms since they took energy greater than a yr in the past.
The Taliban overran the nation final yr, seizing energy in August 2021. They’ve banned ladies from center faculty and highschool, regardless of preliminary guarantees on the contrary, restricted ladies from most fields of employment, and ordered them to put on head-to-toe clothes in public.
A spokesman from the Ministry of Advantage and Vice mentioned the ban was being launched as a result of individuals had been ignoring gender segregation orders and that ladies weren’t carrying the required headband, or hijab. Girls are additionally banned from parks.
The ban on ladies utilizing gyms and parks got here into power this week, in accordance with Mohammed Akef Mohajer, a Taliban-appointed spokesman for the Ministry of Advantage and Vice.
The group has “tried its finest” over the previous 15 months to keep away from closing parks and gymnasiums for girls, ordering separate days of the week for female and male entry or imposing gender segregation, he mentioned.
“However, sadly, the orders weren’t obeyed and the principles had been violated, and we needed to shut parks and gymnasiums for girls,” mentioned Mohajer. “Most often, now we have seen each women and men collectively in parks and, sadly, the hijab was not noticed. So we needed to give you one other choice and for now we ordered all parks and gymnasiums to be closed for girls.”
Taliban groups will start monitoring institutions to examine if ladies are nonetheless utilizing them, he mentioned.
A feminine private coach informed The Related Press that ladies and men weren’t exercising or coaching collectively earlier than on the Kabul health club the place she works.
“The Taliban are mendacity,” she insisted, talking on situation of anonymity, fearing reprisals. “We had been coaching individually.
On Thursday, she mentioned two males claiming to be from the Ministry of Advantage and Vice entered her health club and made all the ladies go away.
“The ladies needed to protest in regards to the gyms (closing) however the Taliban got here and arrested them,” she added. “Now we don’t know in the event that they’re alive or lifeless.”
Taliban-appointed Kabul police chief spokesman Khalid Zadran mentioned he had no instant details about ladies protesting health club closures or arrests.
The U.N. particular consultant in Afghanistan for girls, Alison Davidian, condemned the ban. “That is yet one more instance of the Taliban’s continued and systematic erasure of ladies from public life,” she mentioned. “We name on the Taliban to reinstate all rights and freedoms for girls and ladies.”
Onerous-liners seem to carry sway within the Taliban-led administration, which struggles to manipulate and stays internationally remoted. An financial downturn has pushed tens of millions extra Afghans into poverty and starvation because the circulate of overseas help has slowed to a trickle.
Kabul-based ladies’s rights activist Sodaba Nazhand mentioned the bans on gyms, parks, work, and college would depart many ladies questioning what was left for them in Afghanistan.
“It’s not only a restriction for girls, but in addition for kids,” she mentioned. “Youngsters go to a park with their moms, now youngsters are additionally prevented from going to the park. It’s so unhappy and unfair.”