Afghanistan: Taliban shut down women’s ministry, replace with ministry of virtue and vice

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Sources have revealed that the Taliban in the Afghan capital Kabul have replaced signs for the women’s affairs ministry and changed it with a department that once enforced strict religious doctrines.

On Friday, former female employees of the department said they had been locked out of the building. Videos on the internet showed women employees outside the offices, urging the Taliban to let them return to work.

“I am the only breadwinner in my family,” stated a woman who also said she worked in the department. “When there is no ministry, what should an Afghan woman do?”

However, Taliban members say the institution is important. A Taliban member, Mohammad Yousuf, told a source, “The main objective is to serve Islam. So, it is compulsory to have a Ministry of Vice and Virtue.” 

When the Taliban were last in power from 1996-2001, girls were not allowed to attend school, and women were barred from work and education.

During that period, its Ministry for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice became known as the group’s moral police, enforcing its interpretation of Sharia that included a strict dress code and public executions and floggings.

A list of cabinet posts announced by the Taliban on the 7th of September included an acting minister to promote virtue and prevention of vice and made no mention of a women’s minister. However, the group did not confirm the department had been disbanded.

Earlier this week, a senior Taliban leader said that women would not be allowed to work in government ministries with men.

What are your views on this? Share in the comments bar below.

  • This was not needed at all. They could have kept women ministry devoted to giving opportunities and rights to women as per Islamic jurisprudence. Anyways, it is their country. They can do whatever they like.

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