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Why is Amazon facing women’s wrath for selling Afghani burqas?

The Afghani burqa for sale on amazon

Global online retailer, Amazon is selling burqas which has raised a storm on social media. The burqas it is selling are the ones that Afghan women wear, a head-to-toe covering with a wire-mesh for the eyes.

Amazon is facing ridicule for selling the Afghan burqa under the tagline “every lady must have” in big and bold letters, along with “hides your beauty for that special someone”. The advertisement also says that the garment is imported from the Afghan/Pakistan borders.

The garment came into controversy after the Taliban seized power in August 2021 and made it compulsory for women to wear the Afghani burqa under Sharia – the Islamic law. Taliban foot soldiers also painted over advertisements of women in Kabul and ordered shopkeepers to cover the heads and faces of female mannequins.

Afghanistan’s Khaama news agency has flagged the issue of amazon selling the garment–a symbol of oppression–in an article today. The article asks Amazon whether it is selling the Afghani burqa for American women as the online retailer is banned in Afghanistan.

Noticing the burqas for sale, Australian journalist Lynne O’Donnell, tagged Jeff Bezos and tweeted: “You’re really making money from the forced sequestering of women in Afghanistan? Just $100 to ensure a woman’s identity is eradicated beneath a vile petro-chemical shroud? C’mon Amazon, is this for real?.

Khushnood Nabizada, founder of Khaama, highlighted the absurdity of the advertisement in a tweet. Tagging Amazon, he said: “Chadari or Afghani burqa made way to amazon with a strange promotional message of “every women must be covered fully including their eyes”. Hijab was announced compulsory in Afghanistan. But… does amazon promote it for the western women as there is no amazon in #Afghanistan”.

Now members of the Ministry of Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice of Afghanistan keep an eye on women to ensure that they do not step out of their homes without the Afghani burqa.

People have linked the sale of the Afghani burqa on Amazon to the degrading conditions faced by women in Afghanistan – still face significant barriers and challenges, including inequality, poverty, and lack of access to justice.

Afghan women, have been barred by the Taliban regime to take up jobs, have been prevented from attending schools and colleges and are now facing denial to basic services such as livelihoods and healthcare.

Also read: Will the ISIS attack in Kabul wreck Chinese dreams in Afghanistan?