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Taliban ban Afghan women from travelling more than 45 miles unless escorted by a male relative


The Taliban have banned women from travelling distances longer than 45 miles unless accompanied by a male family member.

The Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice today declared that women seeking to travel anything other than short distances should not be offered transport if they are alone, and insisted transport be offered only to those wearing Islamic hijabs.

‘Women travelling for more than 45 miles (72 kilometres) should not be offered a ride if they are not accompanied by a close family member,’ ministry spokesman Sadeq Akif Muhajir said, specifying that it must be a close male relative.

The guidance, circulated on social media networks, comes weeks after the ministry asked Afghanistan’s television channels to stop showing dramas and soap operas featuring women actors.

The ministry had also called on women TV journalists to wear hijabs while presenting.

The ministry’s new directive preventing women from travelling alone over significant distances also said people should stop playing music in their vehicles.

The Taliban’s interpretation of the hijab – which can range from a hair covering to a face veil or full-body covering – is unclear, and the majority of Afghan women already wear headscarves.

Since taking power in August, the Taliban have imposed various restrictions on women and girls, despite pledging a softer rule compared with their first stint in power in the 1990s.

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