Nurses in Ghazni Required to Pass Religious Test and Obtain License from Taliban

The Taliban’s Department of the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in Ghazni province has issued an order requiring female nurses to obtain a permission letter from the department in order to continue working. According to local sources in Ghazni, the directive was orally delivered to personnel at medical clinics in the province’s districts. In addition to paying approximately 10,000 Afghanis in cash, female nurses and doctors must also pass a religious examination in order to be licensed. Female employees have interpreted the Taliban’s order as an attempt to discourage women from working in hospitals. Male government workers in Ghazni have also expressed dissatisfaction with the Taliban’s stringent regulations. Sources in the department of education in Ghazni have reported that the Taliban appointed an individual to oversee invitations and directions, granting him more authority than the department’s director and influence over how personnel are distributed. The source further stated that each employee of this department is required to spend an hour each day participating in the Taliban leader’s religious instruction group. Employees are dismissed if they miss two consecutive workdays or fail the religious test.

Residents of Ghazni have expressed their discontent with the stringent regulations imposed by the Taliban’s Department of Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. Allegations have been made that officers of this department have been harassing people for a variety of reasons, such as shaving or trimming their beards and cutting their hair. Sources in Ghazni province have reported that the Taliban have often apprehended and incarcerated some of the government employees who have cut their beards.

Maryam (pseudonym), an employee of a government medical center in Ghazni, informed Hasht-e-Subh that two members of the Taliban’s Department of Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice had visited the health center a few days prior and informed the director that their department had mandated that nurses must pass a religious test and obtain a work license.

Maryam stated that two members of the Taliban had informed the management that all female employees should wear the hijab, men should not be checked by women, and the female nurses should obtain a work license from their department by the end of the month. Additionally, Maryam noted that female medical employees were required to pass a religious test and pay 10,000 AFN in order to receive the license from the Taliban’s Department of Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice.

In a conversation with Hasht-e-Subh, an anonymous female nurse from Ghazni province stated that the members of the Taliban’s Department of Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice have advised that male and female doctors should not work in the same medical centers. Furthermore, the Taliban are demanding that female medical professionals pay money for their work license, which is a financial burden for many as they are already facing economic challenges in their homes. The nurse questioned how they could find 10,000 AFN to pay for the license.

The Department of Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in Ghazni has issued a warning that female dentists are prohibited from examining male patients, and any violation of this rule will result in the closure of their offices by the department’s members.

Not only female medical employees, but male government employees as well are weary of the Taliban’s restrictions. An employee of the Head of Education in Ghazni Province told Hasht-e-Subh that the Taliban’s restrictions have been tiring for government employees. He stated, “We have one head of education and another man with more authority than the head who gives a religious lecture for an hour every day. He requires everyone to attend his lectures during work. According to his beliefs, the most competent employee is the one with a full beard and a turban. Therefore, those who miss his lectures or have short beards are dismissed without delay. These are the criteria of excellence for him.

According to a government official, staff members of the Department of Education in Ghazni have been dismissed in the past two months, and several others have been temporarily incarcerated due to their failure to maintain their beards and attendance of two consecutive days of religious lectures.

Furthermore, the Taliban have imposed certain regulations on barbershops in Ghazni Province, which dictate that no resident is permitted to shave or trim their beard. Additionally, shaving the head is prohibited as it is deemed a western practice. Consequently, those who shave parts of their head are subjected to humiliation, physical abuse, and arrest.

Recently, the Taliban have imposed further restrictions in the majority of provinces in Afghanistan. The Taliban’s Department of Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in Parwan has ordered that all female hair salons must take ablution before makeup and not use chemical substances, as well as having separate bathrooms. Additionally, the Taliban has reportedly warned all restaurants in Takhar province not to allow women to enter without a family member. Previously, the Taliban had warned all shopkeepers in Mazar-e-Sharif to close their shops and attend collective prayer in the morning and evening.

The European Union recently imposed sanctions on the Taliban’s Minister of Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice and Minister of Education in response to their severe restrictions on Afghan women on International Women’s Day.