Taliban officials who now run Afghanistan’s highest offices have asked women employees to send male relatives as replacements to take over their jobs.
They have been asked to stop working and remain at home. According to a report by the Guardian, women workers of Afghanistan’s finance ministry called up female government officials and asked them to recommend male relatives who could take up those positions.
“I was asked to introduce a male family member to replace me at the ministry, so I could be dismissed from the job,” an employee was quoted as saying by the news agency.
The employee received a call from the finance ministry’s HR department who asked her to recommend a replacement for her post for which she worked her way up for 15 years.
The woman, who is the head of department in the ministry and holds a master’s degree in business management, questioned the ability of the person if she were to recommend him as her replacement, since she has mastered the skills over a long period of time.
“How can I easily introduce someone else to replace me? Would he be able to work as efficiently as I have for so many years?” the woman asked.
She also questioned the official and said that she wants to know what would happen to her and her job. She countered the Taliban official and said to him that since she has been demoted after their takeover she barely manages to pay her son’s school fees.
“When I questioned this, an official rudely told me to get out of his office and said that my demotion was not negotiable,” she told the Guardian.
Women have been subjected to medieval-era restrictions after the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan. The terrorists follow a strict interpretation of Islamic laws and prevent women from attending schools, colleges, offices.
The laws also promote moral policing and objectification of women. Sahar Fetrat, assistant researcher with the women’s rights division at Human Rights Watch (HRW), said that male relatives of women are punished if the Taliban finds the body language and conduct of those women offensive.
Many women told the Guardian that they received similar calls from the Taliban officials. However, the female official of the finance ministry said she and her female colleagues from the finance department who had received similar calls will mobilize against the diktat.
“We have created a group of female employees of the ministry. We are negotiating now, and we will demonstrate if they don’t hear us,” the woman was quoted as saying by the Guardian.