A senior figure in the ruling Taliban has said Afghan women should not be allowed to work alongside men.
Waheedullah Hashimi, who is close to the Taliban leadership, told Reuters that the group would fully implement its version of sharia law, despite pressure from the international community to allow women the right to work where they want.
Since the Taliban swept to power last month, their leaders said women would be able to work and study within the limits laid down by sharia.
But there has been widespread uncertainty about what practical effect that will have on their ability to keep their jobs. When the Taliban last ruled Afghanistan from 1996-2001, women were barred from employment and education.
The issue is of major importance to the international community and could impact the amount of aid and other assistance that is given to Afghanistan, which is in the throes of economic crisis.
"We have fought for almost 40 years to bring (the) sharia law system to Afghanistan," Hashimi said in an interview. "Sharia ... does not allow men and women to get together or sit together under one roof.
"Men and women cannot work together. That is clear. They are not allowed to come to our offices and work in our ministries."
It was unclear to what extent Hashimi's comments reflected the new government's policies, although they appeared to go further than public comments made by some other officials.
In the days following the Taliban's conquest of Kabul, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told reporters that women were an important part of the community and they would work "in different sectors".
He also specifically included women employees in a call for government bureaucrats to return to their jobs.