Afghanistan had a ministry for women affairs. Taliban replace it with ‘vice and virtue’

The future of the women's ministry is bleak as there is no woman minister in the cabinet and though the Taliban have committed to women rights, the move to disband a ministry and replace it with a notorious one indicates that the women's ministry many not get life again. 
A sign of the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, which replaced the Ministry for Women's Affairs, is seen at an entrance gate of a government building in Kabul.(AFP)
A sign of the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, which replaced the Ministry for Women's Affairs, is seen at an entrance gate of a government building in Kabul.(AFP)
Published on Sep 17, 2021 07:46 PM IST
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Byhindustantimes.com | Written by Poulomi Ghosh

The ministry of virtue and vice is not new for the Taliban as they had this ministry when they ruled in Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001. Now they have not only brought it back but have replaced the ministry of women affairs with the ministry of virtue and vice, a Reuters report said. Workers have put up signboards of the ministry outside the department which used to be the ministry of women affairs.

A sign for the building was covered by a replacement in a mixture of Dari and Arabic, reading "Ministries of Prayer and Guidance and the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice" on Friday, according to photographs and Reuters witnesses.

While this happened on Friday, female employees of the ministry of women affairs were not allowed to enter the building on Thursday, reports said.

What is vice and virtue ministry?

This Taliban ministry was abolished after the US occupied Afghanistan. Bringing back the ministry was not surprising as the Taliban maintained that their governance will be based on Sharia law, though they promised women rights and press freedom. The aim of this ministry is to serve Islam. So, the ministry will decide and deliver punishments for what they consider as a crime. According to reports, the ministry will cust off the hands of the thieves while the punishment for illegal intercourse will be stoning.

What will happen to women ministry?

The ministry had no place in the earlier Taliban regime. The interim Cabinet has no women member in it, which makes it clear that there will be no ministry of women's affairs in Afghanistan. The ministry was created in 2001 and Delbar Nazari was the last minister.

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Friday, December 03, 2021