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Today is the last day Afghan women can take flights alone, its Virtue and Vice Ministry has ruled

Last week, the Taliban went back on its promise to allow secondary and high school girl students to continue formal education.

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New Delhi: 28 March, 2022 is the last day Afghan women can board a flight alone.

The Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice sent a letter to airlines Saturday banning women from taking domestic or international flights without a male escort.

Reuters reported that women who had already booked their tickets would be allowed to fly Sunday and Monday. There were reports that several women with tickets had been turned away from Kabul airport on Saturday.

Though the Taliban promised a more liberal version of their previous rule between 1996 and 2001, they continue to target women’s freedom. During their first stint in power, they had barred women from education, work and even leaving the house without a male relative.

Last week, they reneged on their promise to allow secondary school girl students to continue formal studies.

In response to this decision, the United States cancelled planned meetings with the Taliban to discuss key economic issues.

Research by the Human Rights Watch and the Human Rights Institute of San Jose State University (SJSU) found that the Taliban rule has had a “devastating impact on Afghan women and girls”.

Since Taliban came to power last August, they have “imposed rights-violating policies that have created huge barriers to women’s and girls’ health and education, curtailed freedom of movement, expression, and association, and deprived many of earned income”.

Halima Kazem-Stojanovic, a core faculty member of SJSU’s Human Rights Institute and a scholar on Afghanistan, said: “Afghan women and girls are facing both the collapse of their rights and dreams and risks to their basic survival… they are caught between Taliban abuses and actions by the international community that are pushing Afghans further into desperation every day.”

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