After Kabul mayor asks women to ‘stay at home’, Javed Akhtar’s appeal

The Kabul mayor said exceptions were made for women who could not be replaced by men—in the design and engineering departments and the attendants of public toilets for women.
Javed Akhtar made the remarks on Twitter. (File Photo)
Javed Akhtar made the remarks on Twitter. (File Photo)
Published on Sep 20, 2021 05:18 PM IST
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Byhindustantimes.com | Written by Meenakshi Ray, New Delhi

Lyricist Javed Akhtar on Monday appealed to all Muslim bodies in the country to collectively condemn the order by the mayor of Kabul telling women to stay at home. “Aljazeera has reported that the mayor of Kabul has ordered all working women should stay at home I expect all important Muslim bodies to condemn it because it is being done in the name of their religion Where are all those who were till yesterday shouting in defence of 3 talaq" Akhtar posted on Twitter.

In his first news conference since being appointed by the Taliban, Kabul mayor said on Sunday that women employees have been ordered to stay home, pending a further decision. “There are some areas that men can’t do it, we have to ask our female staff to fulfill their duties, there is no alternative for it,” Hamdullah Namony said, without specifying how many women employees were forced to stay home.

Also read | After keeping them out of school, offices, Taliban say this about women

Namony said that just under one-third of close to 3,000 city employees were women and that they worked in all departments before the Taliban took over Afghanistan on August 15. He said exceptions were made for women who could not be replaced by men—in the design and engineering departments and the attendants of public toilets for women.

Not just in Kabul, women across Afghanistan have been told to stay home but the Taliban have not yet announced a uniform policy. The Taliban government has issued several diktats rolling back the rights of girls and women. Girls in middle and high school have not been asked to return to school for the time being but boys in those classes resumed studies over the weekend. Women university students have been told they can attend classes but they will be gender-segregated and that they must follow a strict Islamic dress code.

Also read | ‘Afghanistan's future depends on…’: Unesco urges reopening girls' schools

Last Friday, the Taliban shut down the women's affairs ministry and replaced it with a ministry for the “propagation of virtue and the prevention of vice”, which has been tasked with enforcing Sharia. More than a dozen women staged a protest outside the ministry on Sunday, holding up signs calling for the participation of women in public life. “A society in which women are not active is (sic) dead society," read one of the signs.

A number of women in Afghanistan have been protesting against the Taliban, demanding equal rights in all spheres of life.

(With agency inputs)

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Saturday, November 27, 2021