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Burqa prices shoot up in Afghanistan as concerns over safety of women grow

Even though the Taliban has said that it remains committed to women's rights as per the Islamic rules, there have been reports of killing of an Afghan woman in Takhar province by the Taliban fighters for not wearing a burqa

The price of burqas has increased tenfold after the Taliban takeover of most provinces in Afghanistan, including the capital Kabul. Even though the Taliban regime has given indications that it will remain committed to women's rights as per the Islamic rules, the country's women are in no mood to take any chances going by the past experiences of repressive Taliban rule and Sharia, the Islamic law.

Suhail Shaheen, spokesman for the hardline group, had told Britain's Sky News recently that the women will be expected to wear the hijab (a headscarf) but not the burqa, a full-body veil that also covers the face.

However, on the same day Shaheen made the statement, Fox News reported the killing of an Afghan woman in Takhar province by the Taliban fighters for not wearing a burqa. Even female correspondents from foreign media were seen reporting from Kabul in burqa after the Taliban takeover.

Given the circumstances, women all over the country are lining up at shops selling burqas who are selling their stuff at an exorbitant price.  

Niloofar Rahmani, the first female Afghan Air Force pilot, told Fox News that Taliban's propaganda about women's rights should not be believed at all.

"The world will be the witness of the Taliban. They are going to stone a woman in a Kabul stadium again for nothing," she said. 

The UN Women, a United Nations entity working for the empowerment of women, has appealed that women’s and girls’ rights in Afghanistan must have only one direction and that is forward.

"We are following the recent events with grave concern. We call on Afghanistan to secure the fundamental human rights of all, including women and girls, and to meet obligations to protect civilians and to provide humanitarians with unimpeded access to deliver timely and life-saving services and aid," the agency said in a statement Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan's Tolo News reported today that several women, who have been working in government and non-government agencies, held a gathering to express concerns about the future and how women will be represented in any future government.

"The people, the government, and any official who is to form a state in the future cannot ignore the women of Afghanistan. We will not relinquish our right to education, the right to work, and our right to political and social participation," Fariha Esar, a human rights activist, was quoted as saying by Afghanistan's first 24-hour news network. 

The report mentioned several Afghan women as saying that the Taliban cannot ignore the progress made by them over the past 20 years as they have "fought" hard to achieve these rights and values.

Also Read: Taliban sacks popular woman news anchor in Afghanistan