Afghanistan: Women To Be Banned From Playing Sport
The Taliban has prohibited women from partaking in sport in Afghanistan.
After the militant group’s takeover of Kabul on August 15, the group appeared to try to allay worldwide concerns by discussing an ‘amnesty’ for women in the country, saying they’d be allowed to study up to university level, work and even govern.
With each passing day, the Taliban’s statements have been unravelling, however. There have been reports of violence and executions; classrooms segregated by gender; and tear gas used to clear women’s rights protesters. Now, women have been banned for playing sports altogether.
Speaking to Australia’s SBS, Ahmadullah Wasiq, the deputy head of the Taliban’s cultural commission, said women’s sport was not appropriate or necessary in Afghanistan under the group’s rule.
‘I don’t think women will be allowed to play cricket because it is not necessary that women should play cricket. In cricket, they might face a situation where their face and body will not be covered. Islam does not allow women to be seen like this,’ he said, The Guardian reports.
‘It is the media era, and there will be photos and videos, and then people watch it. Islam and the Islamic Emirate [Afghanistan] do not allow women to play cricket or play the kind of sports where they get exposed.’
While the Taliban seemed to indicate a more inclusive government following its takeover, its administration has been built from its loyalist ranks and features no women whatsoever.
‘The world is watching closely,’ the US Department of State wrote in a statement, noting it would hold the Taliban to its promise of safe passage for all foreign nationals and Afghans who wish to leave the country.
The EU has also criticised the Taliban. ‘Upon initial analysis of the names announced, it does not look like the inclusive and representative formation in terms of the rich ethnic and religious diversity of Afghanistan we hoped to see and that the Taliban were promising over the past weeks,’ a spokesperson said.
‘The announcement of a transitional government without the participation of other groups and yesterday’s violence against demonstrators and journalists in Kabul are not signals that give cause for optimism,’ Heiko Maas, Germany’s foreign minister, also said.
Hibatullah Akhundzada, the supreme leader of the Taliban, said the new administration would ‘work hard towards upholding Islamic rules and sharia law’, signalling a similar hardline rule to its time in power between 1996 and 2001, prior to the US invasion in the wake of 9/11.
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