Afghanistan: in Herat, men and women can again eat together at the restaurant


Two days after trying to impose gender segregation, including from the same family, in restaurants in the Afghan city, authorities on Saturday denied having demanded such a measure.

According to the testimonies of several restaurateurs in the city of Herat, in recent days, women no longer ate together in restaurants by choice, as here at the end of 2021 in Tehran, but by obligation.


Men and women are again allowed to eat together in restaurants in the city of Herat, in western Afghanistan, where the Taliban authorities had tried to impose a gender segregation, we learned on Saturday from certain establishments. “Restrictions have been lifted and restaurants can again allow families to eat together,” said Jawad Tawangar, a receptionist at a restaurant in Herat.

An official from the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice Herat, Riazullah Seerat, said Thursday that the authorities had ordered that “men and women be separated in restaurants”. He pointed out that the owners had been verbally warned of this measure, which applied even to those who are “husband and wife”. Several restaurant managers and customers had confirmed that this segregation had begun to be applied in the city.

Unfounded rumors, defends the government

Taliban authorities on Saturday denied ever imposing such a ban. “This information is baseless and false, we completely deny it (…) Never has such a thing been ordered,” said Mohammad Sadeq Akif Muhajir, national spokesperson for the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue, in a statement. and vice prevention. Afghans “can go freely with their family to restaurants, eat, drink tea (…), there is no problem. These rumors are absolutely unfounded and false,” he insisted.

According to Jawad Tawangar, however, the Taliban had implemented the ban well, “which unfortunately caused problems for restaurants”, which had to apologize to many customers for not being able to let them eat together. “For several days we couldn’t let families sit together and eat, but now the problem is solved and everything is back to normal,” confirmed Zia-ul-Haq, owner of another restaurant. from Herat.

Women’s freedoms are being curtailed little by little

Since coming to power in August, the Taliban have steadily curtailed women’s freedoms and imposed forms of segregation between the two sexes, in accordance with their ultra-rigorous interpretation of Sharia, Islamic law. They had initially promised to be more flexible than under their previous regime between 1996 and 2001, when women were deprived of almost all rights. But they quickly reneged on their commitments, largely excluding women from public employment, denying them access to secondary school or restricting their right to travel. Last week, they also promulgated a decree requiring women to wear the full veil in public.


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