BurqasFlash 90

The Taliban has ordered all Afghan women to wear the all-covering burqa in public, Sky News reported Saturday.

The blue burqa became a global symbol of the Taliban's previous regime in Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001.

The Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice read a decree from the group's supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada at a press conference in Kabul, according to the report.

"We want our sisters to live with dignity and safety," said Khalid Hanafi, acting minister for the all-male ministry - which replaced the country's women's ministry after the militants took control in August 2021.

The decree says that if a woman does not cover her face outside the home, her father or closest male relative would be visited and eventually imprisoned or fired from government jobs.

It also states that if women have no important work to be done outside, it is better for them to stay at home.

"Islamic principles and Islamic ideology are more important to us than anything else," Hanafi stated, according to Sky News.

Most women in Afghanistan wear a headscarf for religious reasons, but many in urban areas such as Kabul do not cover their faces.

The Taliban previously decided against reopening schools to girls above grade six (around 11 years old), going back on an earlier promise.

The international community has urged its leaders to reconsider.