Taliban rulers in Afghanistan in its fresh move set up a ministry for the propagation of virtue and the prevention of vice in the same building that housed the Women’s Affairs ministry.
A new sign was posted outside the Ministry of Women in Kabul proclaiming the office to be the Ministry for Preaching and Guidance, the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.
Sarif Akhtar one of the members of the Women’s Economic Empowerment and Rural Development Program who is fired from his position said that the staff of the program was escorted outside the office and the program had been replaced.
Mabouba Suraj the head of the Women’s Network said that she was astonished by the flurry of orders issued from the Taliban government against women and girls.
Suraj who returned to Afghanistan in 2003 to promote Women’s rights said that most of her fellow activists who were assisting the Afghans had left the country as the Taliban came to power.
It was the latest troubling sign that the Taliban are restricting women’s rights as they came into power by capturing the capital Kabul. During their previous rule of Afghanistan in the 1990s, the Taliban had denied girls and women the right to education and barred them from public life.
Earlier the Taliban’s Education Ministry allowed middle school boys and male teachers back to school but there was no mention of the girls returning to school. The Taliban minister of higher education has proclaimed that the girls would be allowed equal access to education but in a gender-segregated setting.
The Taliban-led government is in a major economic and security crisis, and a growing threat by IS militants could further thwart their resources.