In response to a new order from the Taliban leader to impose more restrictions on women, including the requirement that they cover their faces in public places and travel restrictions, the US has stated that if the Taliban do not halt their actions, it will increase pressure on the Taliban government. 

At a press briefing on Monday May 9th, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the pressure will continue until the Taliban rescind some of their recent decisions restricting women’s and girls’ rights.

“We have explicitly raised this concern with the Taliban, and we have some instruments at our disposal that we are prepared to utilize if we believe the Taliban’s recent crackdown on women will not be reversed or repealed,” Price said.

He did not go into the details about the prospective moves, or how the group, which has already set policies to limit its 20-year accomplishments for girls’ and women’s rights, might reverse its stance.

On Saturday (May 7th), the Taliban leader issued a new directive requiring all Afghan women to wear the Islamic hijab. Any attire that covers the body is a hijab, according to the regulation, but it should not be “tight and thin”.

Taliban’s statement outlined the steps taken by Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice officials to oversee the implementation of the mandatory hijab. The first step in this process is to find unveiled women’s homes and advise and warn the women’s parents.

In the second stage, the woman’s father or guardian is summoned to the concerned department, and a case is filed against the woman’s father or parents, and the person’s trial begins.

During their previous rule, from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban denied women the right to work and education, and the group’s stance over the past nine months, which has dominated Afghanistan, suggests that the group is once again pressing for stricter controls. Their old rule is currently in effect.