blow to women’s rights taliban ban women from visiting park
In another regressive move, the Taliban authorities have banned women from visiting the Band-e-Amir National Park, located in the Bamiyan province in Afghanistan.
The decision was issued by Afghanistan’s acting minister of virtue and vice, Mohammad Khaled Hanafi. He said that women were not wearing the hijab (headscarf) properly while visiting the park.
Mohammad Khaled Hanafi’s decision is a huge blow to women’s rights. His statements have raised questions about gender equality and freedom in Afghanistan.
“Sightseeing is not a must for women”
Mohammad Khaled Hanafi said it was not necessary for women to visit the national park, raising questions on gender equality. Mohammad Khaled Hanafi reportedly said, “Going sightseeing is not a must for women.” He also urged the authorities to prohibit women from entering the national park. He justified the ban by citing religious values. Mohammad Khaled Hanafi said that the ban could not be lifted until a solution was found.
Sayed Nasrullah Waezi, the head of the Bamiyan Shia Ulema Council, said that the women who violated the mandatory hijab rules were not local residents of the Bamiyan region. He said, ”There are complaints about the lack of hijab or bad hijab, these are not Bamiyan residents. They come here from other places.” He accused women of other regions of violating the hijab rules.
Heather Barr, the interim co-director of the Women’s Rights Division at Human Rights Watch, condemned the decision. She reportedly said, “Step by step the walls are closing in on women as every home becomes a prison.”
Richard Bennett, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, also condemned the move and questioned the Taliban. He said, “Can someone please explain why this restriction on women visiting Band-e-Amir is necessary to comply with sharia and Afghan culture?”
Former Afghan MP, Mariam Solaimankhil, also expressed grief over this decision. She criticized the ban on Afghan women from visiting Band-e-Amir National Park.