Afghanistan: Taliban bans women from amusement parks

Afghan women were refused entry at amusement parks in Kabul in a prolonged series of restrictions imposed on them by the Taliban government.

The Taliban’s morality ministry on Wednesday said that women would be restricted from accessing public parks without providing further details.

Although it was unclear how the rules would be applied given the ministry had earlier issued orders on segregation by gender in parks and keeping aside certain days for women.

“For the past 15 months, we tried our best to arrange and sort it out and even specified the days,” Mohammad Akif Sadeq Mohajir, spokesperson for the ministry for the prevention of vice and promotion of virtue told AFP.

He added: “But still, in some places, in fact, we must say in many places, the rules were violated.

“There was mixing (of men and women), hijab was not observed, that’s why the decision has been taken for now.”

At an amusement park in Kabul, several women were turned away by the officials, with the Taliban agents overlooking the situation.

Two park operators told Reuters on condition of anonymity that the Taliban had instructed them to not allow women.

Taliban members play football at an amusement park in Kandahar on December 30, 2021

(AFP via Getty Images)

Masooma, a Kabul resident who asked that only her first name be published, said she planned to take her grandchild to visit the park but was turned away at the gate.

“When a mother comes with their children, they must be allowed to enter the park, because these children haven’t seen anything good… they must play and be entertained,” she told the news agency.

“I urged a lot to them, but they didn’t allow us to get inside the park, and now we are returning home.”

The new restrictions are a part of the Islamist militants’ unrelenting attack on women’s rights since wresting power from the elected Ashraf Ghani government in August last year.

So far, women in Afghanistan have been barred from accessing public spaces without wearing an all-covering niqab, or stepping out of their houses without a male chaperone. Women have also been denied new driving licenses by the Taliban administration.

The Islamist group, despite facing severe criticism, has decided against reopening secondary schools for girls from the sixth standard, denying a generation of women access to education.

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