The new Taliban mayor in the Afghan capital, Kabul, has asked female municipal employees to stay home if a man cannot take their jobs.
Hamdullah Nomani said the Taliban “need to stop women from working for a while.”
These are the latest restrictions imposed by the new government of the militant group on women in the country.
During their previous regime in the 1990s, women were excluded from education and employment.
After the US forces withdrew last month and seized control of the country, the Taliban said women’s rights would be respected “within the framework of Islamic law.”
Since he came to power, working women have been asked to stay at home until the security situation improves, and Taliban militants have beaten up all male women fighting against the interim government.
The group closed the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and was replaced by an administration that implemented strict religious doctrines.
During the Taliban rule in the 1990s, the Ministry of Moral Enforcement and Vice Prevention imposed strict rules and regulations on women.
High schools reopened this weekend, but only boys and teachers were allowed to return to classes. The Taliban said it was working to reopen girls’ schools.
Over the past 20 years, women in Afghanistan have fought and won for many basic rights, but there are now fears that those gains could be reversed once the new male Taliban government takes office.
According to the mayor of Kabul, one-third of the municipality’s 3,000 employees are women They said they would be at work
“For example, in a city where men can’t go, women work in women’s restrooms,” he added.
“But for positions held by others (men), we have asked them (women) to stay at home until the situation returns to normal. Their salaries will be paid,” he added.
On Sunday, small protests took place near the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, while another group of women held a press conference demanding their rights.
One protester in the ministry said, “We do not want to remove this ministry. Eliminating women means removing people.”
In a separate development, Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission said it was unable to perform its duties after the Taliban claimed responsibility.
The organization said in a statement that the Taliban had seized its buildings, vehicles and computers.
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