The Taliban in power in Afghanistan seem to have closed the Ministry of Women's Affairs on Friday to replace it with that of the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, feared for its fundamentalism during their first reign, twenty years ago.
Workers were seen installing a sign bearing the image of the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in the former Women's Affairs building in the capital.
#Afghanistan Today the Ministry of Women's Affairs has been replaced by the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and the Suppression of Vice, the most oppressive institution of the Taliban regime of the 90s. Https://t.co/ 3Hv8j1X5GD
- Dike (@DikeJu) September 17, 2021
Several messages had appeared on social networks in the past 24 hours, showing employees of the ministry demonstrating in front of the building, because they claimed to have lost their jobs.
"Nobody hears our women," protested a surfer on Twitter, while another wondered: "What else can we expect from these animals?
Women have been ordered to stay at home
No Taliban official has spoken on this matter.
Although they insisted they would govern more moderately than in 1996-2001, the Taliban did not allow most women to return to work.
They introduced rules about what they can wear to college.
No woman was among the ministers of the new Taliban government announced two weeks ago.
Although still marginalized, Afghan women have acquired fundamental rights over the past 20 years, especially in cities, becoming parliamentarians, judges, pilots and police officers.
Hundreds of thousands of them have entered the labor market - often out of necessity, as many have become widows or are supporting now disabled husbands after two decades of conflict.
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However, since their return to power on August 15, the Taliban have shown no willingness to guarantee their rights.
Islamists say women have been ordered to stay at home for their own safety, but will be allowed to work once proper segregation is in place.
During the first Taliban rule, women were largely excluded from public life.
They could only leave their homes if they were accompanied by a chaperone.
Agents from the Ministry of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice were known to whip women who walked alone.
They were also responsible for strictly enforcing other strict interpretations of Islam, such as the obligation to attend prayers and the prohibition on men shaving.