Taliban closes women's baths in Afghan province

Taliban officials in northern Balkh province, which borders Uzbekistan, have announced the shutting down of all general baths for women. As the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan spreads over the country, restrictions on women, in particular, are becoming more severe.

Religious experts and provincial authorities from the Directorate of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in the province fully agreed on the decision. According to the report, women can only shower in private baths while wearing Islamic hijab, not in public baths, as a result of the new ruling.

The decision was made after meetings with religious scholars, according to the head of the Directorate of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in Balkh province (Ulema). "Because people do not have access to contemporary bathtubs at home," the directorate's chief said, "men are allowed to go to general baths, but women are obliged to go to private baths while wearing hijab."

Body massage is also prohibited in public baths for boys under the age of eighteen. Local officials in western Herat province had previously temporarily closed women's general baths.

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