Last Updated: Tuesday, 01 December 2015, 13:36 GMT

Afghanistan: Ordinance of 1996 Concerning Women's Rights and Duties

Publisher National Legislative Bodies / National Authorities
Author Islamic State of Afghanistan
Publication Date 1 July 1996
Reference AFG-100
Cite as National Legislative Bodies / National Authorities, Afghanistan: Ordinance of 1996 Concerning Women's Rights and Duties, 1 July 1996, available at: [accessed 1 December 2015]
Comments This is an unofficial translation. The Ordinance is a verdict passed by the High Court of "Hukoomat-e Islami" Afghanistan, in accordance with the Taleban Regime.
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

A denial of veil is an infidel and an unveiled woman is a lewd.


The veil must cover the whole body.

Women clothes must not be thin.

Women clothes must not be decorated and colorful.

Women clothes must not be narrow and tight so that the seditious limbs are not noticed. The veil must not be thin.

Women must not perfume themselves. If a perfumed woman passes by a crowd of men she is counted upon as an adulteress.

Women's clothes must not resemble men's clothes.

About out-door activities of women, the High Court of Afghanistan proclaims:

Women, in current age, are forbidden to go out of their houses, or to be looked at, not because they are women, but for fear from sedition.

It is incumbent on Muslim men and women to learn religious sciences which include theology, Koran, Sunna and religious Jurisprudence so that they distinguish between lawful and unlawful, but the manners of teaching and learning them differ greatly for men and women. Women must learn their religious duties from those (men) with whom their marriage is allowed as much as required, provided that they are helpless and on a condition that a person with whom their marriage is prohibited shall be present.

Muslim women are not allowed pray in mosques. Muslim women certainly forbidden in this age to enter the places where sermons are delivered or knowledge is taught.

In brief, it is obscene and unlawful for women to go to schools under the pretext of learning.

Muslim women are forbidden to go to schools, even if their teachers are Muslims and the conditions of wearing veil are observed. It is forbidden to open schools for women. Experience has proved that such deeds have had evil effects on women and have resulted to corrupted morality.

Children, especially girls, are forbidden to learn modern sciences and literacy prior to learning general sciences of religion.

Women are forbidden to learn writing, for writing is a tool for sedition and corruption. Literate women write about their unlawful wishes and desires to strangers.

Although literacy is somehow useful for women, yet it is rather much seditious than being useful.

Men are responsible to fulfill women's vital need. Therefore, women are not obliged to go out for acquisition and profession.

It is unlawful for women to go out of their houses if they are not obliged by religious law; if they do go out, they must fulfill the 15 conditions:

1.         They must not perfume themselves.

2.         They must not wear adorning clothes.

3.         They must not wear thin clothes.

4.         They must not wear narrow and tight clothes.

5.         They must cover their entire bodies.

6.         Their clothes must not resemble men's clothes.

7.         Muslim women's clothes must not resemble non-Muslim women's clothes.

8.         Their foot-ornaments must not produce sound.

9.         They must not wear sound-producing garments.

10.       They must not walk on the middle of streets.

11.       They must not go out of their houses without their husband's permission.

12.       They must not talk to strange men.

13.       If necessary to talk, they must talk in low voice and without laughter.

14.       They must not look at strangers.

15.       They must not mix with strangers.

Getting together with men in offices and cities, teaching and learning in modern schools are contrary to law and are going by the West and following irreligious systems, and are stricly prohibited by law. The state and government authorities are emphatically and seriously requested that they expel women from offices and women schools which are, in fact, centers for adultery and fornication.

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