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Taliban Crack Down on Social Freedoms With Even Stricter Policing

The Taliban has been cracking down on its residents’ social freedoms, including stricter policing and harsh policies for women. Members of the Taliban’s religious police wear white tunics and black turbans, maintaining tight control over the regulations set in place for Afghanistan residents. The religious police have enacted laws that require women to wear the hijab in compliance with Shariah law. In the past few weeks, several social restrictions have been introduced even as the group attempts to seek international recognition after overthrowing the Western-backed republic in August.

The Taliban have decided to uphold a ban on secondary and schools for girls, effectively shutting down all of these facilities across the country. In addition, international media outlets have been banned from broadcasting in local languages and live music at weddings is now illegal. When travelling beyond 48 miles, women must be accompanied by a male relative. In some areas of the country, women are also required to be accompanied by a male guardian in order to receive medical treatment. The recent changes paint a very different picture from when the group first took over Afghanistan in August and sought to project a gentler image than during their first time in power. At the time, the Taliban promised to respect the rights of women within the framework of Islam. Since then, positions on a range of issues have been hardened.

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