Taliban replace women's ministry

A sign for the building was covered by a replacement in a mixture of Dari and Arabic, reading "Ministries of Prayer and Guidance and the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice" on Friday (September 17), according to photographs and Reuters witnesses.

Female employees said they had been trying to come to work for several weeks only to be told to return to their homes, according to videos filmed outside the building seen by Reuters.

The gates of the building were finally locked on Thursday, one of the women said.

"I am the only breadwinner in my family," said a second woman, who also said she worked in the department. "When there is no ministry, what should an Afghan woman do?"

Taliban spokesmen did not respond to requests for comment on Friday.

During 1996-2001, when the Taliban was last in power, its Ministry for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice became known as the group's moral police, enforcing its interpretation of sharia that included a strict dress code and public executions and floggings.

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