Somalia's hardline al Shabaab insurgents closed three grassroots women's organisations in the rebel-held town of Balad Hawa on Monday to stop women from going to work, a rebel leader said.
The group wants to impose its own version of Islamic law on areas it controls, and Washington says it is al Qaeda's proxy in the Horn of African nation.
"We have taken this step after we recognised that women need to stay in their homes and take care of their children ... Islam does not allow women to go to offices," Maalim Daaud Mohmed, the chairman of Balad Hawa, told Reuters by telephone.
The organisations closed by al Shabaab are the Halgan Businesswomen's Organisation, the Sed Huro Human Rights Organisation and Farhan Woman for Peace, he said.
The insurgents have banned movies, musical ringtones, dancing at wedding ceremonies and playing and watching soccer.
Courts have ordered executions, floggings and amputations in recent months, mostly in the southern Kismayu region and rebel-held districts of the capital.
The rebel leader said they would also close five non-governmental organisations in the region. He did not name them.