In the latest attack on basic human rights by the country’s new rulers since seizing power, the Taliban have ordered airlines in Afghanistan to prohibit women from flying unless they are accompanied by a male relative.
Hardline Islamists have imposed severe limitations on freedoms, primarily targeting Afghan children and women, and have ordered local television stations to stop transmitting BBC news bulletins as of Sunday.
They also declared that men and women may not attend the capital’s parks on the same days during the weekend.
The Taliban promised a softer version of the severe rule that characterized their first tenure in office, from 1996 to 2001, when they returned to power in August, but limitations have crept back in, often applied regionally at the whim of local officials.
Women are rapidly being excluded from public life, with high schools and most government employments being closed to them amid orders to dress in accordance with the Taliban’s stringent reading of the Quran.
In their most recent crackdown, the Taliban ordered Ariana Afghan Airlines and Kam Air in Afghanistan to prohibit women from flying without escorted by a “mahram,” or adult male relative.
The Taliban have previously required women journalists working for Afghan television networks to wear hijabs and have barred foreign operas from being shown.