Afghanistan: Posters across Kabul reminding women to wear hijab

According to media reports, the Taliban-led government's Ministry of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has placed posters throughout Kabul reminding women to wear a hijab.

The posters, which were seen across the capital city on Sunday, reads: "A Muslim woman must observe hijab because it is a Sharia law commandment." Two portraits depict two different types of hijab: a black Abaya that covers the entire face, including the eyes, and a full-body blue garment (burqa), which is a traditional Afghan women's outfit.

The placards, according to ministry officials, were only meant to remind women to wear a hijab, not to force them to do so.  The Taliban has reclaimed its role as enforcer of the group's hardline interpretation of Islamic law, some five months after taking control.

The Ministry has put limitations on people' behaviour, mobility, and looks, notably those of women and girls, in a series of decrees issued in recent weeks. Women and girls who were not joined by a close male relative were recently barred from accessing coffee shops in Herat province. Coffee shops, according to a Taliban leader in the region, serve as a handy location for the majority of moral corruption, which has deceived the youths in Herat. 

Last month, the Taliban ordered store owners to cut off the heads of mannequins, claiming they were un-Islamic, and stated that women travelling more than 72 kilometres would be denied transport unless accompanied by a close male relative.

The Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice also advised all vehicle drivers not to play music in their vehicles and not to pick up female passengers who did not cover their hair with an Islamic hijab. Since then, Taliban religious police have set up checkpoints across Kabul to see if cab drivers are following commands.

The Taliban has also shut down all public bath-houses for women in the northern city of Mazar-e Sharif. Such facilities are considered crucial because many Afghans do not have access to heating or electricity at home.

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