In a bizarre order, Afghanistan’s Ministry for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has ordered that men and women will not visit parks on the same days. Well, it is the ministry for promotion of virtue, and prevention of vice, after all. (Clearly there can be no vice if women and men are not together in parks...)
The ministry, in the order released Sunday, said that women are allowed to visit the parks three days a week: Sunday, Monday and Tuesday; while the remaining four days, men will visit the parks.
The Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice on Sunday announced a gender-segregated weekly timetable for Kabul parks. Women may visit parks on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, and men can visit the parks on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.#TOLOnews pic.twitter.com/IAAWnJEaIr— TOLOnews (@TOLOnews) March 27, 2022
Mohammad Yahya Aref, an official at the ministry said that it is not the Islamic emirate’s order but 'God’s order' that men and women who are strangers to each other should not gather at one place. He further added that women will be able to enjoy their time in parks, and they will also not be troubled by men.
A few days ago, Taliban fighters were also ordered to not visit parks with weapons. Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said, "Mujahideen of the Islamic emirate are not allowed to enter amusement parks with weapons, military uniforms and vehicles."
This is not the first time the Taliban has had a tryst with parks. After US forces withdrew from the country in August 2021, several Taliban fighters with weapons in their hands were seen making the most of the amusement parks. Later, some Taliban men also burned the parks down.
#Kabul amusement park #Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/ELK0GjrwAm— Hamid Shalizi (@HamidShalizi) August 16, 2021
Another one #Kabul pic.twitter.com/dLTRP2KZOX— Hamid Shalizi (@HamidShalizi) August 16, 2021
WHY THIS SEGREGATION BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN?
Photo: Getty Images
Ever since Taliban took over Afghanistan in August 2021, they have gone around implementing the Shariah law in public life. All these rules were effective in harsher terms back when Taliban ruled over Afghanistan from 1996-2001. Those days, women were barred from attending educational institutions and doing jobs. With the return of Taliban in Afghanistan, those days are slowly but returning.
Mullah Omar, the head of Taliban then made sure that the Islamic laws were properly implemented in the areas where the Taliban ruled. This time, when Taliban seized back power, it had promised less harsher laws. In the first press conference, after taking power in Afghanistan, the Taliban had promised that they would protect women's rights in Afghanistan, a claim that the rest of the world took with a massive pinch of salt.
The Taliban's claims, as expected, don’t seem to stand on ground.
Last week, the Taliban government moved back on its order on older girls attending secondary schools. As all the girls marched to school, hours into the first day, the Taliban passed an order that all schools for girls above the sixth standard will be closed till a comprehensive policy is designed for them.
This was met by serious protests from women and rights groups in front of the Ministry of Education in Kabul.
Photo: Getty Images
The country has also been battling acute poverty ever since the Taliban took over the capital Kabul in August 2021. US-backed NATO forces withdrew from Afghanistan by August 31, 2021, after having been there in a war with the Taliban since 2001.
Taliban, since August 2021, has been instrumental in enforcing Islamic Shariah law across the country.