Taliban ban long-distance road trips for solo women

World

The Taliban have said Afghan women wishing to travel long distances by road should be offered transport only if accompanied by a male relative.

The directive, issued on Sunday, is the latest curb on women’s rights following the seizing of power by the Islamist group.

A majority of secondary schools remain shut for girls, while most women have been banned from working.

Campaign group Human Rights Watch said the new restriction moved further towards imprisoning women.

Heather Barr, who is the group’s associate director of women’s rights said the order “shuts off opportunities for [women] to be able to move about freely” or “to be able to flee if they are facing violence in the home”.

The latest directive, issued by the Taliban’s Ministry of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, said women travelling for more than 72km should be accompanies by a close male family member.

The document calls on vehicle owners to refuse taking women not wearing Islamic head or face covering as passengers, although it does not say which type of covering to use. Most Afghan women already wear headscarves.

It also bans the playing of music in vehicle.

 

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