Taliban treatment of women

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While in power in Afghanistan, the Taliban became notorious internationally for their treatment of women. Their stated aim was to create "secure environments where the chasteness and dignity of women may once again be sacrosanct,"[1] reportedly based on Pashtunwali beliefs about living in purdah.[2]

Women were forced to wear the burqa in public, because, according to a Taliban spokesman, "the face of a woman is a source of corruption" for men not related to them.[3] They were not allowed to work, they were not allowed to be educated after the age of eight, and until then were permitted only to study the Qur'an. Women seeking an education were forced to attend underground schools such as the Golden Needle Sewing School, where they and their teachers risked execution if caught.[4][5] They were not allowed to be treated by male doctors unless accompanied by a male chaperone, which led to illnesses remaining untreated. They faced public flogging and execution for violations of the Taliban's laws.[6][7] The Taliban allowed and in some cases encouraged marriage for girls under the age of 16. Amnesty International reported that 80 percent of Afghan marriages were considered to be by force.[8]

Contents

Gender policies

From the age of eight, women were not allowed to be in direct contact with men, other than a close blood relative, husband, or in-law (see mahram).[9] Other restrictions were:

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