“Women should not mix with men”
Afghanistan’s top religious council has said women should not mix with men in school, work or other aspects of daily life. The Ulema Council has also said that women should not travel without a male relative. The BBC’s Orla Guerin has been hearing reaction to the ruling from people in Kabul. The comments by senior clerics -which have been welcomed by President Hamid Karzai -were included in a statement outlining the rights and duties of women under Islam. Human Rights Watch says it is worrying that the Ulema Council has issued this statement, and that President Karzai has backed it. The council says its comments are a request and a reminder, not an instruction. But critics say the statement is an echo of the Taliban.