Taliban forces hundreds of women to leave their jobs in Afghanistan

A U.N. report says the Taliban government in Afghanistan has dismissed hundreds of women from their jobs for violating Islamic law requirements.

According to a report by the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, or UNAMA, the Taliban government in Afghanistan has recently dismissed hundreds of women from their jobs for allegedly violating Islamic law requirements that apply to women across the country.

The report, which covers the human rights situation in the last quarter of 2023 in a country where millions of people need humanitarian aid, said that the Taliban’s Ministry of Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has been enforcing and issuing restrictions on women’s rights to work, education, and freedom of movement.

The report stated that at least 600 women lost their jobs in two Afghan provinces during the reporting period due to various reasons, such as not complying with the hijab or dress code, not having a mahram, or male relative, and facing other limitations on women’s access to public places, offices, and educational institutions.

For example, the report said that the provincial branch of the ministry prohibited 400 women from working in a pine-nut processing plant in eastern Nangarhar province in October without giving any explanations, while men were allowed to continue working. It also said that a Taliban-run power plant in northern Balkh province in November laid off 200 women allegedly for financial reasons, while no male workers were affected. In one case, the report said that the vice and virtue ministry officials “told an unmarried female staff at a healthcare facility to get married or risk losing her job, stating that it was inappropriate for an unmarried woman to work.”

The report also said that the ministry officials visited a bus terminal in southern Kandahar city last month to ensure that women were not traveling long distances without a male relative and ordered drivers not to let female passengers board buses if they are not accompanied by a chaperone.

The report added that women without male relatives in the eastern Paktia Province have been denied healthcare access since early December, with the vice and virtue ministry officials continuing to visit provincial health facilities to ensure compliance.

The report noted that while there is no general ban on women’s employment in Afghanistan, the mahram requirement effectively limits their right to work if they do not have a male relative who can accompany them to workplaces.

The report also documented cases of arbitrary arrests and detentions, sentencing, and some releases of human rights defenders and journalists, including women, from October to December.

The report said that the Taliban authorities have been infringing the right to freedom of expression by limiting the public’s opportunity to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas.

The report further documented increasing suicide bombings and other attacks on members of the country’s predominantly Shiite ethnic Hazara community over the past three months. The violence, mostly claimed by Islamic State militants, killed nearly 50 Afghan Shiite Muslims and wounded many more.

The report said that its human rights workers continued to record extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and detentions, and torture and ill-treatment of former Afghan government officials and security forces. The Taliban have consistently denied the allegations, saying they are following a general amnesty their leadership announced after taking over Afghanistan in August 2021.

The Taliban have since imposed their strict interpretation of Islamic law, banning Afghan girls from receiving an education beyond sixth grade and most female employees from public as well as private workplaces.

Here is a possible rephrased version of your text, using a neutral tone.

The Taliban restrictions on women have been condemned by the international community and urged to be lifted immediately. The de facto Afghan government has not been recognized by any foreign country, mainly due to human rights issues and the treatment of women.

The Taliban dismissed Monday’s U.N. report, saying it shows the world body’s “lack of knowledge” about Sharia or Islamic law.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the main Taliban spokesman, said in an English-language statement that rejecting Islamic rules as “a violation of human rights…is clearly an offense to people’s beliefs.”

Mujahid advised UNAMA to refrain from commenting on the Afghan nation’s religious matters.

“Women’s hijab, the Sharia requirement of mahram with women, Sharia environment for women’s work and education….these are all the obligations and duties of a responsive and Islamic government,” he said.

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