Afghan Women Stocking Up on Hijabs, Burqas to Have Access to Education, Work Under Taliban
KABUL (Sputnik) - The sales of hijabs and burqas have increased in Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban* announcing that only women wearing hijab would have access to education and work, a Sputnik correspondent reported on Sunday.
Women started buying head and body coverings out of fear that, like under the Taliban rule in the 1990s, they would be hunted down and beaten by the militants wherever seen without hijabs or burqas. No such incidents, however, have been reported yet, given that 70% of women in Kabul bazaars still do not wear them.
Following the announcement earlier this week, prices for these pieces of clothing have increased from 900 Afghanis ($10.5) to 1,500 Afghanis.
A woman of about 50 years old told Sputnik that she went to Kabul's Ahmad Shah Baba Mena Bazaar in search of a burqa.
"I came out today to buy hijabs or chadors for my two daughters," the woman said, adding that she bought a burqa for herself under the previous Taliban government back in the 1990s.
Rashid Ahmad, a shopkeeper who owns a hijab and chador shop in Kabul's Ahmad Shah Baba Mana, confirmed to Sputnik that the sales had increased.
At the same time, there are also Afghan women who are not ready to wear either burqa or hijab under any circumstances.
The Taliban have repeatedly said that they would not force women to wear the headscarf but noted women "needed to act in accordance with the Sharia law" when outside.
Since the militants came to power, Afghan women have taken to the streets several times in a bid to defend their rights to education, work and freedom of speech.
*A terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.