The Taliban government, on Monday, April 10, 2023, restricted the entry of families & women into restaurants with green spaces or gardens in the Herat province, Afghanistan.
This decision was announced by the Taliban following the religious clerics complaining of mixing genders in such locations. Afghan officials stated that the restriction had been placed due to gender mixing, primarily because women reportedly are not wearing the hijab. Till now, the curb applies to restaurants with green spaces in the Herat province.
The outdoor dining ban is applicable to restaurants in Herat, where such locations stay open to men. A deputy official from the Ministry of Vice & Virtue’s directorate in Herat – Baz Mohammad Nazir disagreed with media reports that all restaurants were off limits to women and families, dismissing them as propaganda.
He added that it is applied only to those locations or restaurants with green spaces, such as a park where men & women could meet. The ban came after several complaints from scholars and common people.
The head of the Vice & Virtue directorate in Herat – Azizurrahman Al Muhajir, stated that the location seemed like a park, but the owners named it a restaurant and men & women were usually spotted together there.
The development is the latest in a series of restrictions implemented by the Taliban since they came to power in August 2021. Earlier, they shut girls out of classrooms beyond the sixth class and women from universities and most types of employment, such as jobs at the UN. Women are also banned from visiting public spaces such as gyms and parks.
Additionally, the EU – European Union restricted aid to the Taliban government with the removal of the ban on working Afghan women. EU stated that the restriction on women working for United Nations organisations violates international law, following which aid cannot be delivered regardless of gender, and the EU will reconsider aid activities.
The UN added that 3300 male and female employees of the organisation have been working from home since women were banned by the Taliban from working at the United Nations agencies.