Afghanistan's supreme leader and Taliban chief on Saturday ordered the country's women to wear the all-covering burqa in public -- one of the harshest controls imposed on women's lives since the hardline Islamists seized power.
"They should wear a chadori (head-to-toe burqa) as it is traditional and respectful," said a decree issued by Hibatullah Akhundzada that was released by Taliban authorities at a function in Kabul.
"Those women who are not too old or young must cover their face, except the eyes, as per sharia directives, in order to avoid provocation when meeting men who are not mahram (adult close male relatives)," the decree said.
It added that if women had no important work outside it was "better they stay at home".
During their first regime between 1996 and 2001, the Taliban imposed similar restrictions on women.