Handful of Afghan women protest against decree to cover faces

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About a dozen women protested in the Afghan capital on Tuesday against the Taliban’s new edict that females must fully cover their faces and bodies when in public.

Afghanistan’s supreme leader and Taliban chief Hibatullah Akhundzada issued a mandate over the weekend ordering women to cover up fully, ideally with the traditional all-covering burqa.

The diktat was the latest in a series of creeping restrictions in Afghanistan, where the Taliban have rolled back the marginal gains made by women after a US-led invasion toppled the first Taliban regime in 2001. “Justice, justice!” chanted the protestors, many with uncovered faces, in central Kabul. The demonstrators also chanted “Burqa is not our hijab!” — indicating their objection to trading the less restrictive hijab headscarf for the totally concealing burqa.

 

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