In the capital of Afghanistan, women have stopped entering amusement parks

In the capital of Afghanistan, women have stopped entering amusement parks

KABUL, Nov 9 (Reuters) – Afghan women were banned from amusement parks in Kabul on Wednesday, after the Taliban’s Ministry of Morality announced that there would be restrictions on women entering public parks.

A spokesman for the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (MPVPV) confirmed that women would be restricted from entering the parks when asked for comment by Reuters, but did not respond to requests for further details.

It was not clear how widely the restrictions were applied or how they affected the MPVPV’s previous rule, which required parks, including outdoor areas, to be segregated by gender, with some days set aside for women.

A spokesman for the Islamist Taliban administration, Bilal Karimi, did not respond to a request for comment.

At an amusement park in Kabul that featured rides such as bumper cars and a Ferris wheel, Reuters witnesses saw several women being driven around by park officials, who were attended by Taliban agents monitoring the situation.

Kabul resident Masoma, who asked that only her name be published for security reasons, had planned to take her grandson to the park but was turned away.

“When a mother comes with children, they should be allowed to enter the garden because these children have not seen anything good… they should play and have fun,” he told Reuters. “I urged a lot, but they did not let me enter the park. Now we are returning home.

Two park operators, who asked to remain anonymous to discuss the sensitive issue, said Taliban officials had told them not to allow women into their parks.

Since taking over Afghanistan last year, the Islamist Taliban have said women must not leave home without a male relative and must cover their faces, although some women in urban centers ignore the rule and some women have been allowed to work in government offices. The group also signaled that all-girls high schools would open in March.

Western governments have said the group must reverse its stance on women’s rights for any path to official recognition by the Taliban government.

The Taliban say they respect women’s rights according to their interpretation of Islamic law.

Report from Kabul News; Written by Charlotte Greenfield

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