Afghanistan | Men and women can eat together again in Herat restaurants

(Herat) Men and women are again allowed to dine together in restaurants in the western Afghan city of Herat, where Taliban authorities have tried to enforce gender segregation, A- We learned on Saturday from some establishments.

Posted yesterday at 12:04 PM.

“Restrictions have been lifted and restaurants can again allow families to eat together,” Jawad Tawangar, a receptionist at a restaurant in Herat, told AFP.

An official at the Ministry of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in Herat, Riyadullah Sirat, told AFP on Thursday that authorities had ordered “men and women separated in restaurants.”

He pointed out that the owners were verbally warned of this procedure, which applies even to those who are “husband and wife”.

A number of restaurant managers and customers confirmed to AFP the start of this chapter in the city.

On Saturday, the Taliban authorities denied imposing such a ban at all. This information is baseless and false, and we completely deny it […] “He has never ordered such a thing,” Muhammad Sadiq Akef Muhajir, the official spokesman for the Ministry of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, said in a statement.

Afghans can “go freely with their families to restaurants, eat and drink tea […], there is no problem. He insisted that these rumors were completely unfounded and unfounded.

But according to Tuanger, the Taliban enforced the ban well, “which unfortunately caused problems for restaurants,” forcing several customers to apologize for not being able to eat together.

Zia-ul-Haq, another restaurant owner in Herat, confirmed: “For several days we could not let the families sit together and eat, but now the problem has been resolved and everything is back to normal.”

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Since coming to power in August, the Taliban have steadily curtailed women’s freedoms and imposed forms of gender discrimination, in accordance with their strict interpretation of Islamic law.

They initially promised to be more flexible than their previous regime between 1996 and 2001, when women were denied nearly all rights.

But they quickly backtracked on their commitments, largely excluding women from public employment, denying them access to high school or restricting their right to travel.

Last week, they also issued a decree requiring women to wear the full veil in public.

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