An image of CNN Chief International Correspondent Clarissa Ward circulated the internet Monday and showed a stark change in her dress when she reports in a private area versus a public one amid the Taliban takeover of Kabul, Afghanistan.
Ward stated on Twitter that the photo circulating on the internet was not entirely accurate. “I always wore a head scarf on the street in Kabul previously, though not w/ hair fully covered and abbaya. So there is a difference but not quite this stark,” Ward clarified. Ward was also notably dressed in her regular apparel inside “a private compound” when not on the streets of Kabul, according to her tweet.
This meme is inaccurate. The top photo is inside a private compound. The bottom is on the streets of Taliban held Kabul. I always wore a head scarf on the street in Kabul previously, though not w/ hair fully covered and abbaya. So there is a difference but not quite this stark. pic.twitter.com/BmIRFFSdSE
— Clarissa Ward (@clarissaward) August 16, 2021
Abayas cover “everything but the face, hands, and feet,” while burqas cover the entire face with a mesh grill over the eyes, according to a New York Times article. Hijab is used as a “catchall” in the West, but is usually just the headscarf, the New York Times reported.
Based on this information, it appears that Ward had previously only worn a Hijab or headscarf, but is now wearing an abaya in public since her report Sunday. In a report for CNN’s “New Day,” Ward notes that the women in Kabul have started to wear full burqas since the Taliban swept into Kabul.
“I have seen a few women, but I will say I have seen far fewer women than I would ordinarily see walking down the streets of Kabul and the women that you do see walking down the streets of Kabul tend to be dressed more conservatively than they were when they were walking down the streets of Kabul yesterday. I have seen more burqas today than I had seen in a while. Obviously, I am dressed in a very different way to how I would normally dress to walk down the streets of Kabul,” Ward reported on Monday.
— New Day (@NewDay) August 16, 2021
Ward also stated Sunday on CNN that she was attempting to get in contact with the Taliban in order to ensure her safety as press. “Well, we are trying to reach out to the Taliban to be in contact with them so that they protect our rights as journalists, but obviously we are watching the situation very closely,” Ward said. (RELATED: Americans Are Trapped Behind Taliban Checkpoints, Have No Clear Path To US Perimeter, According To Tom Cotton’s Office)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi raised concerns Sunday about the Taliban’s treatment of women in Afghanistan. “The Taliban must know that the world is watching its actions. We are deeply concerned about reports regarding the Taliban’s brutal treatment of all Afghans, especially women and girls. The U.S., the international community, and the Afghan government must do everything we can to protect women and girls from inhumane treatment by the Taliban,” she said in a statement.