Due to the Taliban‘s restrictions, Afghan girls and women had nowhere to go this year, as they had been prohibited from attending schools, colleges, or using public baths and parks. Azita, a 23–year–old student in Herat province, told Hasht–e–Subh that she chose to remain at home instead of making plans for Nawroz. Not only do the Taliban forbid women from appearing in public, but they also do not show them any respect, Azita said.
In past years, Azita would visit parks and people on Nawroz annually, however, Taliban regulations have prevented her from doing so this year. She stated that the Taliban do not believe women are worthy of visiting parks and that women are still not granted basic rights. Azita continued, “The only right we have is to remain at home for no reason.”
Many of the women in Herat feel that the Taliban have been a catastrophe for the lives of women in Afghanistan, and that they are even prohibited from going to children‘s playgrounds.
Halima, a resident of Herat, informed Hasht–e–Subh that she had previously taken her children to parks, but had been unable to do so in recent weeks due to the prohibition of women in Afghanistan. “I had been taking my children to the parks near our home and visiting other women, however, they have been unable to do so recently due to the Taliban‘s restriction orders. Additionally, I was unable to celebrate Nawroz this year as my husband works in Iran,” Halima continued.
Nawroz is an ancient culture in Afghanistan that is widely regarded as a tradition. Herat is one of the provinces in which women traditionally took their family members to parks and visited other families and friends. However, the Taliban have attempted to impose more restrictions on women in Afghanistan. According to the people of Herat, the Taliban have exacerbated poverty and their political system is unstable.
Women in Herat Province have reported that the Taliban‘s Department of Prohibition has instructed rickshaw drivers not to accept women who are not wearing masks or burqas. Since the Taliban have taken control of Afghanistan, they have imposed numerous stringent restrictions on all women, including the dissolution of the Women‘s Affairs Ministry and its replacement with a Prohibition Ministry that monitors all activities in the country.
Over the past 18 months, the Taliban have imposed numerous restrictions on women in Afghanistan, resulting in the transfer of all Ministry of Women‘s Affairs staff members to other positions within the organization. According to orders issued by Hibatullah Akhundzada, the leader of the Taliban, women and girls have been denied access to secondary and high schools. Subsequently, the Taliban were prohibited from visiting parks and public baths for women. Recently, Hibatullah Akhundzada has forbidden girls and women from attending universities, asserting that the only lifestyle women should lead is one in which they remain at home.