• Women are urged to "temporarily" stop going to work
  • The Taliban spokesman said they are now looking for procedures to ensure the safety of women
  • The insurgents had barred women from working and leaving their homes unaccompanied during their previous reign

The Taliban have told working Afghan women to stay at home, noting that their soldiers are “not trained” to respect them.

Zabiullah Mujahid, the spokesperson for the insurgent group, urged women not to go to work for their own sake until Taliban leaders come up with a new procedure to ensure their "safety."

“We are worried our forces who are new and have not been yet trained very well may mistreat women,” Mujahid was quoted as saying by The New York Times. “We don’t want our forces, God forbid, to harm or harass women.”

The spokesperson added that the working women in Afghanistan would still receive their salaries, which would be paid “in their homes.”

Mujahid’s remarks echoed recent comments made by Ahmadullah Waseq, deputy of the group’s cultural affairs committee. “For now, we are asking them (women) to stay home until the situation gets normal. Now it is a military situation,” Waseq previously told The Times.

After the Taliban took over Afghanistan on Aug. 15, the group’s leaders insisted that their reign will be different this time and promised that they will respect “women’s rights.”

However, one report said a group of Taliban fighters recently pulled out nine women from their banking jobs and threatened them not to return to work.

"It's really strange to not be allowed to get to work, but now this is what it is," Noor Khatera, a 43-year-old woman who worked in Azizi Bank, told Reuters.

Najla Ayoubi, an activist and a former judge, said she received reports about an Afghan woman being set on fire because the Taliban soldiers were dissatisfied with her cooking. She also said that some women were being used by the militants as sex slaves.

“Also there are so many young women…in the past few weeks being shipped into neighboring countries in coffins to be used as sex slaves,” she said.

During their reign between 1996 and 2001, the Taliban banned women from going to work. They also could not attend school. Women were not allowed to leave their homes without a male relative accompanying them. Those who violated the code were publicly flogged or beaten.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid urged skilled Afghans to not flee the country
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid urged skilled Afghans to not flee the country AFP / Hoshang Hashimi