Home » Taliban Imposes Restrictions on Women’s Access to Afghan National Park

Taliban Imposes Restrictions on Women’s Access to Afghan National Park

The Taliban will use security forces to stop women from visiting one of Afghanistan’s most popular national parks, according to information shared by a spokesman for the Vice and Virtue Ministry.

The ministry alleges that women have not been observing the proper way to wear the hijab when going to Band-e-Amir in the central Bamiyan province.

This comes a week after the minister, Mohammad Khalid Hanafi, visited the province and told officials and religious clerics that women have not been adhering to the correct way of wearing the hijab, asking security personnel to stop females from visiting the tourist spot.

“Going sightseeing is not a must for women,” Hanafi said at the time.

Ministry spokesman Molvi Mohammad Sadiq Akif shared a report of Hanafi’s remarks late on Saturday night, including the use of security forces, clerics and elders to carry out the order.

A recording of the minister’s speech in Bamiyan, aligning with Mr Akif’s report, was shared on social media.

Akif was not immediately available for comment on Sunday.

“Not content with depriving girls and women of education, employment and free movement, the Taliban also want to take from them parks and sport and now even nature, as we see from this latest ban on women visiting Band-e-Amir,” Heather Barr of Human Rights Watch said in an emailed statement.

“Step by step, the walls are closing in on women as every home becomes a prison.”

In November, the Taliban-led government barred women from public spaces, including parks, saying they were not wearing the hijab correctly or following gender segregation rules.

Since taking over the country on August 15, 2021, after the withdrawal of US and Nato forces, they have imposed several restrictions on women in Afghanistan, including stopping girls from going to school beyond the sixth grade and prohibiting women from jobs at local and non-governmental organisations.

These harsh measures have caused fierce international outrage, including from Muslim-majority countries.

Band-e-Amir is a major tourist attraction in Bamiyan. It became the country’s first national park in 2009 and attracts thousands of visitors every year.

It is a major source of income for locals and their sightseeing, restaurant, hotel and handicraft businesses.

Afghan Herald/Agencies

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