women banned from Afghanistan's gyms by Taliban rulers

The Taliban are banning women from using gyms in Afghanistan, an official in Kabul mentioned Thursday, the spiritual group’s latest edict cracking down on women’s rights and freedoms since they took power larger than a yr in the past.

The Taliban overran the nation final yr, seizing power in August 2021. they’ve banned women from center school and highschool, regardless of preliminary ensures pretty the completely different, restricted women from most fields of employment and ordered them to put on head-to-toe clothes in public.

A spokesman from the Ministry of advantage and Vice mentioned the ban was being launched as a consequence of people had been ignoring gender segregation orders and that women weren’t sporting the required scarf, or hijab. women are additionally banned from parks.

New ban this week

The ban on women using gyms and parks acquired here into stress this week, in accordance with Mohammed Akef Mohajer, a Taliban-appointed spokesman for the Ministry of advantage and Vice.

The group has “tried its best” over the previous 15 months to maintain away from closing parks and gymnasiums for women, ordering separate days of the week for feminine and male entry or imposing gender segregation, he mentioned.

A Taliban fighter stands guard in an amusement park in Kabul on Thursday. A ban on women using gyms and parks is the Taliban’s latest edict cracking down on women’s rights and freedoms. (Ebrahim Noroozi/The associated Press)

“sadly, the orders weren’t obeyed and the foundations had been violated, and we wished to close parks and gymnasiums for women,” mentioned Mohajer. “usually, we have seen each males and women collectively in parks and, sadly, the hijab was not noticed. So we wished to current you one other decision and for now we ordered all parks and gymnasiums to be closed for women.”

Taliban teams will start monitoring institutions to test if women are nonetheless using them, he mentioned.

‘we’re teaching individually’

A feminine private coach informed The associated Press that males and women weren’t exercising or teaching collectively earlier than on the Kabul gymnasium the place she works.

“The Taliban are mendacity,” she insisted, talking on situation of anonymity, fearing reprisals. “We had been teaching individually.”

On Thursday, she mentioned two males claiming to be from the Ministry of advantage and Vice entered her gymnasium and made all of the women go away.

“the women wished to protest with regard to the gyms [closing] nonetheless the Taliban acquired here and arrested them,” she added. “Now we do not know in the event that they’re alive or ineffective.”

Taliban-appointed Kabul police chief spokesman Khalid Zadran mentioned he had no instantaneous particulars about women protesting gymnasium closures or arrests.

‘Systematic erasure’

The United Nations particular consultant in Afghanistan for women, Alison Davidian, condemned the ban.

“that is one extra event of the Taliban’s continued and systematic erasure of women from public life,” she mentioned. “We name on the Taliban to reinstate all rights and freedoms for women and women.”

exhausting-liners appear to maintain sway inside the Taliban-led administration, which struggles to regulate and stays internationally remoted. An financial downturn has pushed 1000’s and 1000’s extra Afghans into poverty and hunger as a consequence of the stream of overseas assist has slowed to a trickle.

Kabul-primarily based women’s rights activist Sodaba Nazhand mentioned the bans on gyms, parks work, and faculty would depart many women questioning what was left for them in Afghanistan.

“it is not solely a restriction for women, however additionally for youngsters,” she mentioned. “kids go to a park with their mothers. Now kids are additionally prevented from going to the park. it is so unhappy and unfair.”