Women banned from Afghanistan’s gyms by Taliban rulers


The Taliban are banning girls from utilizing gyms in Afghanistan, an official in Kabul mentioned Thursday, the non secular group’s newest edict cracking down on girls’s rights and freedoms since they took energy greater than a 12 months in the past.

The Taliban overran the nation final 12 months, seizing energy in August 2021. They have banned women from center college and highschool, regardless of preliminary guarantees on the contrary, restricted girls from most fields of employment and ordered them to put on head-to-toe clothes in public.

A spokesman from the Ministry of Virtue and Vice mentioned the ban was being launched as a result of individuals had been ignoring gender segregation orders and that ladies weren’t carrying the required scarf, or hijab. Women are additionally banned from parks.

New ban this week

The ban on girls utilizing gyms and parks got here into pressure this week, in response to Mohammed Akef Mohajer, a Taliban-appointed spokesman for the Ministry of Virtue and Vice.

The group has “tried its finest” over the previous 15 months to keep away from closing parks and gyms for girls, ordering separate days of the week for female 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 girls utilizing gyms and parks is the Taliban’s newest edict cracking down on girls’s rights and freedoms. (Ebrahim Noroozi/The Associated Press)

“Unfortunately, the orders weren’t obeyed and the principles had been violated, and we needed to shut parks and gyms for girls,” mentioned Mohajer. “In most circumstances, now we have seen each women and men collectively in parks and, sadly, the hijab was not noticed. So we needed to give you one other determination and for now we ordered all parks and gyms to be closed for girls.”

Taliban groups will start monitoring institutions to test if girls are nonetheless utilizing them, he mentioned.

‘We are coaching individually’

A feminine private coach instructed The Associated Press that ladies and men weren’t exercising or coaching collectively earlier than on the Kabul fitness center the place she works.

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

On Thursday, she mentioned two males claiming to be from the Ministry of Virtue and Vice entered her fitness center and made all the ladies go away.

“The girls wished to protest concerning the gyms [closing] however the Taliban got here and arrested them,” she added. “Now we do not know in the event that they’re alive or lifeless.”

Taliban-appointed Kabul police chief spokesman Khalid Zadran mentioned he had no speedy details about girls protesting fitness center closures or arrests.

‘Systematic erasure’

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

“This is one more instance of the Taliban’s continued and systematic erasure of ladies from public life,” she mentioned. “We name on the Taliban to reinstate all rights and freedoms for girls and women.”

Hard-liners seem to carry sway within the Taliban-led administration, which struggles to manipulate and stays internationally confined. An financial downturn has pushed thousands and thousands extra Afghans into poverty and starvation because the stream of overseas assist has slowed to a trickle.

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

“It isn’t just a restriction for girls, but in addition for youngsters,” she mentioned. “Children go to a park with their moms. Now kids are additionally prevented from going to the park. It’s so unhappy and unfair.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here