Sequestered, Not Silent

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The Taliban this week banned women from entering the capital Kabul’s public parks and funfairs, the latest move to sequester females at home despite promises to the contrary, Agence France-Presse reported.

Officials introduced the rule just months after ordering access to public spaces to be segregated by gender. They said the segregation rules were being violated, adding that the wearing of the hijab has not been respected and there were instances of men and women mixing.

The decision infuriated many Afghan women.

“There are no schools, no work… we should at least have a place to have fun,” said Wahida, a mother. “We are just bored and fed up with being at home all day, our minds are tired.”

The Taliban have implemented rules that prevent women from traveling without a male escort and ordered all adult females to wear a hijab or burqa outside of the home.

Schools for teenage girls have also been shut for over a year across most of the country.

But the new ban also affected park operators, who have heavily invested in developing the facilities and attractions.

Habib Jan Zazai, co-developer of the Zazai Park in Kabul, fears that the ban will force him to close down a business that he has poured $11 million into, and which employs more than 250 people.

He warned that such edicts would discourage foreign investment and have an impact on revenue collection.

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