Citing to Afghan airline officials, the Associated Press (AP) reported on March 26 that Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers have refused to allow dozens of women to board several flights, including some overseas, because they were traveling without a male guardian. 

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of repercussions from the Taliban, reportedly said dozens of women who arrived at Kabul’s international airport on March 25 to board domestic and international flights were told they couldn’t do so without a male guardian.

According to one of the officials, some of the women were dual nationals returning to their homes overseas, including some from Canada.

Women were reportedly denied boarding on flights to Islamabad, Dubai and Turkey on Kam Air and the state-owned Ariana Airline, the official said, noting that the order came from the Taliban leadership. 

By March 26, some women traveling alone were reportedly given permission to board an Ariana Airlines flight to western Herat province.  However, by the time the permission was granted they had missed their flight.

The airport’s president and police chief, both from the Taliban movement and both Islamic clerics, were meeting on March 26 with airline officials, according to AP

But head of Ariana Airlines, Rahmatullah Agha, told TOLOnews that there was no problem for women on flights and that they have not received any statement in this regard. 

“Now you can go to the airport.  Our flights are normal as before.  No one has called us about such an issue and neither told us verbally,” he said. 

Analysts believe that such actions will cause negative consequences. 

“The result of this domestic action will cause a serious international reaction which will affect our political engagement” Sayed Massoud, a university instructor, told TOLOnews in an interview.  

Meanwhile, some travel agencies, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told TOLOnews that they have received instruction from the airlines, which prevents the sale of tickets to women who travel without male guardian.

“A lot of women don’t have a male guardian.  Either their husband or son have been martyred or live abroad.  This problem must be immediately solved,” Gulali Akbari, a former member of the parliament, was quoted as saying by TOLOnews.