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Semafor LogoJenna Moon
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Taliban bars women from parks, gyms in Kabul in latest restriction of their rights

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The Taliban has banned women from using parks in Kabul, the latest restriction on women's freedoms in Afghanistan since the Taliban took power in August 2021.

An Afghan man stands in an amusement park in Kabul, Afghanistan, November 9, 2022.
REUTERS/Ali Khara
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Earlier this year, the Taliban ordered that entrance to parks and amusement parks be segregated by gender. Women have also been barred from accessing the country’s gyms, Aljazeera reports.

In a comment to Aljazeera, a representative from Afghanistan’s ​​Ministry of Vice and Virtue justified the further restriction on women’s rights as necessary because people were not complying with the previous segregation orders. The spokesperson also said the Taliban would be monitoring parks to see if women tried to enter them.

“The orders were not obeyed and the rules were violated, and we had to close parks and gyms for women,” the spokesperson said.

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A women who spoke to the Associated Press dismissed that characterization, saying that women and men had been exercising at gyms separately before the ban.

“The women wanted to protest about the gyms [closing] but the Taliban came and arrested them,” she told AP. “Now we don’t know if they’re alive or dead.”

Since the regime regained power in 2021, they have curbed many rights and freedoms women and girls previously enjoyed. Women are required to cover their faces when outside the home, though some in urban centers ignore the rule, while girls are still barred from going to school.

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