Taliban Bans Long-Distance Trips for Women Unless Escorted by Male Relative

The Taliban issued new travel restrictions for Afghan women on Dec. 26, prohibiting them from traveling long distances unless accompanied by a male relative.

The Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice issued a guidance that limited women from traveling farther than 72 kilometers unless escorted by a male relative.

“Women traveling for more than 45 miles (72 kilometers) should not be offered a ride if they are not accompanied by a close family member,” ministry spokesperson Sadeq Akif Muhajir said.

Muhajir specified that the close family member must be male.

The guidance also advised vehicle owners to offer rides inly to women wearing Islamic hijab or a headscarf.

Muhajir told Voice of America that the guidance was in line with the Sharia Law of Islam.

The guidance came weeks after the ministry asked Afghan television channels to stop airing dramas and soap operas featuring female actors and to require female TV journalists to wear hijabs while presenting.

The guidance also requires drivers of the male-only transport sector to grow beards, break for prayers, and to stop playing music in their vehicles.

The Taliban has imposed several restrictions on women and girls since they took power in August, despite pledging for a softer rule compared to their first rule in the 1990s.

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