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Women have been banned from appearing in television dramas in Afghanistan under new rules imposed by the Taliban-led government

Women have been banned from appearing in television dramas in Afghanistan under new rules imposed by the Taliban-led government, the BBC reported.

Female journalists and presenters have also been ordered to wear headscarves on screen, although the guidelines do not say which type of covering to use.

Reporters say some of the rules are vague and subject to interpretation, according to the BBC report.

The latest set of Taliban guidelines, which have been issued to Afghan television channels, features eight new rules.

They include the banning of films considered against the principles of Sharia, or Islamic law and Afghan values, while footage of men exposing intimate parts of the body is prohibited, the report added.

Comedy and entertainment shows that insult religion or may be considered offensive to Afghans are also forbidden.

The Taliban have insisted that foreign films promoting foreign cultural values should not be broadcast, the report added.

Afghan television channels show mostly foreign dramas with lead female characters.

A member of an organization that represents journalists in Afghanistan, Hujjatullah Mujaddedi, said the announcement of new restrictions was unexpected.

He told the BBC that some of the rules were not practical and that if implemented, broadcasters may be forced to close.

The Taliban's earlier decision to order girls and young women to stay home from school made Afghanistan the only country in the world to bar half its population from getting an education.

The mayor of the capital, Kabul, also told female municipal employees to stay home unless their jobs could not be filled by a man, the report said. (IANS/JB)

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This faction, which had lost its connection to their homeland, developed as a radical group whose main motive was to revive Islam in its purest sense.

Deep down the streets of Uttar Pradesh, lies a small town of Deoband. Small in size but huge on impact, a revered Sunni study center of this town has a history of over 150 years. Founded during the struggle against colonial imperialism, Deoband is recently in headlines for its supposedly shared religious views with the Taliban of Afghanistan. President of Darul Uloom Deoband, an Islamic seminary, refutes the claim.

The Darul Uloom Deoband is an Islamic seminary established in 1866 as a centre for Sunni studies. It has over 6000 students enrolled from countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Bangladesh. After the 1857 revolution, British rule became increasingly tyrannical especially towards the Indian Muslims. Some members of the community sought refuge from this oppression by strengthening their beliefs in the fundamentalist, puritan version of Islam. As Milad Karimi, deputy director of the Center for Islamic Theology at the University of Münster said, "They were convinced that salvation, both religiously and socially, lay exclusively in a pure, historically unadulterated Islam." Hence, they closed the doors of communication with other religions and focused on what they considered to be the pure doctrine.

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by Farid Ershad on unsplash

The Islamic Emirate welcomes the India meeting

In reaction to the India Conference's statement, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has said that it had already fulfilled all of the demands mentioned by the conference, Tolo News reported.

"The Islamic Emirate welcomes the India meeting. We are trying to take solid steps in governance, and the world countries should not be worried of Afghanistan soil being used against anyone," said Inamullah Samangani, deputy spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, the report said.

The India Conference, in which the representatives of Russia, Iran and five Central Asian states participated, called for the formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan that will counter terrorism and prevent Afghan soil from being used against other countries. World countries are trying to bring their wishes via negotiations to the Taliban and these meetings have a positive result for Afghanistan, by Sohaib Ghyasi on unsplash

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Unicef Executive Director Henrietta Fore has voiced deep concern about Afghan girls increasingly at risk of child marriage in the war-torn country.

Unicef Executive Director Henrietta Fore has voiced deep concern about Afghan girls increasingly at risk of child marriage in the war-torn country.

"We have received credible reports of families offering daughters as young as 20 days old up for future marriage in return for a dowry," she said in a statement.

Even before the latest political instability, Unicef's partners registered 183 child marriages and 10 cases of selling of children over 2018 and 2019 in Herat and Badghis provinces alone, reports Xinhua news agency.

The children were between six months and 17 years of age, she said.

The UN agency estimates that 28 per cent of Afghan women aged 15-49 years were married before the age of 18.

The Covid-19 pandemic, the ongoing food crisis, and the onset of winter have further exacerbated the situation for families, forcing them to make desperate choices, such as putting children to work and marrying girls off at a young age.

As most teenage girls are still not allowed to go back to school, the risk of child marriage is now even higher, said Fore.

Unicef is working with partners to raise communities' awareness of the risks for girls if they are married early. Child marriage can lead to a lifetime of suffering. Girls who marry before they turn 18 are less likely to remain in school and more likely to experience domestic violence, discrimination, abuse and poor mental health. They are also more vulnerable to complications in pregnancy and childbirth, she said.

It has started a cash assistance program to help offset the risk of hunger, child labour and child marriage among the most vulnerable families. The fund plans to scale up this and other social services programs in the months to come.

Unicef will also work with religious leaders to ensure that they are not involved in the "Nikaah" (the marriage contract) for young girls, she said.

"But this is not enough. We call on central, provincial and local authorities to take concrete measures to support and safeguard the most vulnerable families and girls. We urge the de facto authorities (Taliban) to prioritise the reopening of schools for all secondary school girls and allow all female teachers to resume their jobs without any further delays.

"The future of an entire generation is at stake," said the statement. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Covid-19 pandemic, Child Marriage in Afghanistan , UNICEF, Girl Child, Afghan Girl.