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Taliban acknowledge women not safe in the presence of their militants

The Taliban leadership is warning the employed women in Afghanistan to stay at home until it trains its security forces on “how to deal with women”.

“Our security forces are not trained [in] how to deal with women or how to speak with women,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told reporters at a press conference, Fox News reported.

“Until we have full security in place … we ask women to stay home,” he said.
Mujahid added that the guidance is a “very temporary procedure”, and women will be allowed to return to work once a system is in place to protect them.

Fear is growing among women and girls in Afghanistan after the Taliban told working women to stay at home, admitting that they are not safe in the presence of the Taliban’s soldiers.

The Taliban spokesperson said that women should not go to work for their own safety, undermining the group’s efforts to convince international observers that the group would be more tolerant towards women than they were when they were last in power, CNN reported.

The instruction came the same day that the World Bank halted funding in Afghanistan, citing concerns about the safety of women, and within hours of the UN calling for a “transparent and prompt investigation” into reports of human rights abuses since the Taliban takeover.

Mujahid said the guidance to stay at home would be temporary and would allow the group to find ways to ensure that women are not “treated in a disrespectful way” or “God forbid, hurt”.

He admitted that the measure is necessary because the Taliban’s soldiers “keep changing and are not trained”.

“We are happy for them to enter the buildings, but we want to make sure they do not face any worries,” he said.

“Therefore, we have asked them to take time off from work until the situation gets back to normal order and women-related procedures are in place. They can return to their jobs once it is announced,” Mujahid added.

When last in power between 1996 and 2001, the Taliban had banned women from the workplace, stopped them from leaving homes unaccompanied, and forced them to cover their entire bodies.

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