Increased Taliban arrests lead to Kabul families restricting women’s movement

Women and girls in Kabul report growing concerns for their safety and restrictions from their families on leaving their homes, amidst rising Taliban arrests over clothing violations.

According to these women and girls, there has been a notable increase in detentions for not adhering to the Taliban’s dress code.

Women’s rights activists in the area have highlighted the Taliban’s refusal to share information about the detainees with their families.

The surge in arrests, particularly in western Kabul, has led to heightened fears among women and girls about leaving their homes, explained Hadia, a Kabul resident. “The fear of being arrested by the Taliban adds to the existing challenges of studying and working,” she said.

Sadaf, another resident, noted the increased stress about clothing since the Taliban’s rise. “We always observed Islamic hijab, but now there’s constant worry about whether our attire is acceptable,” she said.

The Women’s Movement for Peace and Freedom condemned the Taliban’s actions as cruel, inhumane, and un-Islamic. Some girls reported that the Taliban are also monitoring attire in educational institutions.

While the Taliban claim not to make arbitrary arrests, they have not provided details about the increase in detentions.

Women and girls are appealing to the international community for their right to choose their attire. “The pretext of ‘not respecting the required cover’ has effectively placed women under house arrest,” said one woman. She urges human rights organizations and the UN to pressure the Taliban to halt these arbitrary arrests.

Reports indicate that the Taliban’s Department of Prosperity and Prohibition of Vice began escalating arrests last week, particularly in western Kabul, citing clothing violations as a primary reason.

The United Nations, Amnesty International, and other human rights groups have previously urged the Taliban to cease these practices. However, women and girls in Kabul report not only a continuation but an increase in these arrests recently.