The Taliban has told working women to stay home 'temporarily' because the group's security forces are not trained to 'deal with women'

·2-min read
Two women wear burkas.
Two women clad in burkas walk on a street in Kabul, Afghanistan. AP Photo/Tomas Munita
  • A Taliban spokesperson said the organization has instructed Afghan women to stay home from work.

  • This comes nine days after the Taliban retook Afghanistan following the collapse of the government.

  • Since then, Afghan women have been anxiously awaiting details of what their futures may hold.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Working women in Afghanistan have been instructed to stay home from their jobs until the Taliban can ensure full security in the country.

At a Tuesday news conference in Kabul, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid assured reporters the restrictions on women's employment would be short-term.

"It's a very temporary procedure," Mujahid said.

But despite the Taliban's reassurances, many fear the move could mean an impending return to the harsh restrictions women faced under Taliban rule in the country from 1996 to 2001.

Since the Taliban retook control of Afghanistan earlier this month following the drawdown of US forces and the collapse of the US-backed Afghan government, women in the country have been anxiously awaiting details of what their futures may hold.

Last time the Taliban took control, the organization imposed strict Islamic law, which required women to wear coverings from head to toe; barred women from working except in very limited circumstances; kept women from attending schools; and barred women from leaving their homes unless accompanied by a male relative.

At Tuesday's press conference, the Taliban said the restrictions on women working in Afghanistan will persist until systems are in place to ensure their safety.

"Our security forces are not trained [in] how to deal with women -- how to speak to women [for] some of them," Mujahid said. "Until we have full security in place ... we ask women to stay home."

Last week, a Taliban leader said a group of Islamic scholars will decide whether women and girls in Afghanistan will be permitted to go to work or school.

Since regaining control of the country nine days ago, the Taliban has been vying to rebrand itself as a moderate organization, saying the group will offer amnesty to those who worked with the US or the former government and promising members of the media will be able to operate independently.

But several female journalists in the country have already reported incidents of intimidation or reprisal since the takeover.

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