Taliban Mayor of Kabul Says the Only Job for Women is Cleaning Female Bathrooms

In the latest move that underscores the Taliban's brutal ways, Kabul Mayor Molavi Hamdullah Nomani has stated that the only job for women is cleaning female bathrooms. Only those women municipal workers in Kabul whose positions men "could not fill" have been allowed by the Taliban to return to their posts, Nomani said on September 19. He mentioned "female public toilets in bazaars" while referring to such jobs.

The Order Leaves Hundreds of Women Out of Work

In the Kabul municipality, where 27% of the 2,930 employees are women, only those "who were needed or in positions that men could not fill or that were not for men" are allowed to return to work, according to Nomani.

"Initially we allowed all of them to be present at their duties on time, but then the Islamic Emirate decided it was necessary that for some time their work must stop," he said as per CNN. "Then we only allowed those females whom we needed, I mean for jobs which males couldn't do, or which is not a man's job ... For example, there are public female toilets in bazaars."

Taliban Turning Away from Their Early Promises of Respecting Women's Rights

It is the latest restriction imposed on Afghanistan's women by the country's hard-line new Islamist government.

After they captured power in Afghanistan, the Taliban said women's rights would be respected "within the framework of Islamic law". Although they said that women could attend universities, the gradual steps taken in due course of time raised many questions.

Since taking power working women have been told to stay at home until the security situation improves.

Taliban's Repressive Measures

Recently, images of male and female university students separated by a partition in a classroom made headlines.

In yet another letdown of their promise to safeguard women's rights, the Taliban on Friday have not allowed girls to return to secondary schools, effectively enforcing a ban on their higher education.

Taliban fighters
Taliban Fighters Wikimedia Commons

The Islamist group appears to have shut down the women's affairs ministry and replaced it with the Ministry of Virtue and Vice that once enforced strict religious doctrines.

Signs for the country's women's ministry were replaced with those of the Taliban's moral police, Reuters reported, adding that female employees of the department were locked out of the building.

Afghan Women Vow to Resist Taliban

The Kabul mayor's words came on the same day when Afghan women took to street to demand their rights. On Sunday, there were small protests outside the women's affairs ministry while another group of women held a press conference to demand their rights. They displayed messages calling for the participation of women in public life.

According to the BBC, one of those protesting at the ministry said "we do not want this ministry to be removed. The removal of women [means] the removal of human beings."