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Taliban Imposes Ban on Women’s Beauty Salons in Afghanistan

by Ethan Kim
10 comments
Taliban's ban on women's beauty salons

The Taliban administration has issued a prohibition on women’s beauty salons in Afghanistan, announced a government representative on Tuesday.

This move is the most recent restriction affecting the liberties and rights of Afghan women and girls, coming after mandates that exclude them from education, public areas, and the majority of employment opportunities.

Mohammad Sidik Akif Mahajar, a spokesperson for the Taliban-controlled Virtue and Vice Ministry, confirmed the ban’s implementation but refrained from providing specific details. His confirmation aligned with the contents of a letter circulating on social media platforms.

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Dated June 24, the ministry’s letter states that the ban, which applies to the capital, Kabul, and all provinces, follows a verbal directive from the supreme leader, Hibatullah Akhundzada. Beauty salons across the country have a one-month window to discontinue their operations. Following this, they are required to close and report their closure. No specific reasons for the ban were provided in the letter.

This announcement followed closely on the heels of Akhundzada’s claim of taking necessary steps to enhance the lives of women in Afghanistan.

Human and women’s rights activists on social media have criticized the move.

On Tuesday, the United Nations also expressed its commitment to liaising with the Afghan authorities in an effort to overturn the beauty salon ban. The U.N. mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, took to Twitter to urge the Taliban to retract the order.

“The new limitations on women’s rights will have a detrimental effect on the economy and contradict the stated support for women’s entrepreneurship,” UNAMA stated.

A beauty salon proprietor, who has been the sole provider for her family since her husband’s death in a 2017 car bombing, spoke earlier. She chose to remain anonymous and did not reveal her salon’s name due to fears of retaliation.

Her Kabul salon typically caters to between eight and twelve women each day.

“The Taliban are increasingly placing restrictions on women,” she told The Big Big News. “Why are only women targeted? Are we not human? Don’t we have the right to work or live?”

Despite their initial assurances of a more lenient rule compared to their previous reign in the 1990s, the Taliban have enacted stringent measures since taking control of Afghanistan in August 2021 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces.

In addition to barring women from public spaces such as parks and gyms, they have also clamped down on media freedoms. These actions have incited international outcry, heightened the country’s isolation during an economic collapse, and aggravated a humanitarian crisis.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Taliban’s ban on women’s beauty salons

What recent restrictions have the Taliban placed on women in Afghanistan?

The Taliban have recently banned women’s beauty salons in Afghanistan, adding to the existing restrictions that bar them from education, public spaces, and the majority of employment opportunities.

Who confirmed the ban on women’s beauty salons?

The ban on women’s beauty salons was confirmed by Mohammad Sidik Akif Mahajar, a spokesman for the Taliban-run Virtue and Vice Ministry.

What were the contents of the Taliban-issued letter regarding the ban?

The letter issued by the Taliban’s Virtue and Vice Ministry dated June 24 conveyed a verbal order from the supreme leader, Hibatullah Akhundzada. It directed beauty salons in Kabul and all provinces to wind down their businesses within a month. After that period, the salons must close and provide a report about their closure.

What has been the international reaction to the Taliban’s restrictions on women’s rights?

The international community, including human and women’s rights activists and organizations like the United Nations, has heavily criticized the Taliban’s restrictions on women’s rights. The U.N. mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, even urged the Taliban to retract the salon ban.

What other restrictions have the Taliban imposed since taking power in 2021?

Besides the ban on women’s beauty salons, the Taliban have also barred women from public spaces, like parks and gyms, and cracked down on media freedoms. These measures have incited international outrage and increased the country’s isolation amid an economic collapse, exacerbating a humanitarian crisis.

More about Taliban’s ban on women’s beauty salons

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10 comments

CarlaB July 5, 2023 - 12:18 am

I can’t even imagine being in their shoes…this is heartbreaking 🙁

Reply
SarahTheActivist July 5, 2023 - 1:42 am

This is just so wrong! We need to do more to help the women in Afghanistan. Where’s the international community action?

Reply
StandWithAfghanWomen July 5, 2023 - 3:11 am

We need to continue to raise awareness about this. The world should not forget about Afghan women. #WomensRights #StandWithAfghanWomen.

Reply
MikeJ July 5, 2023 - 5:05 am

Can’t believe what’s happening over there…women deserve rights just like everyone else…

Reply
Josh89 July 5, 2023 - 5:38 am

what the hell is wrong with these people, why are they always oppressing women?! It’s 2023 for god’s sake, not the stone age.

Reply
SarahTheActivist July 6, 2023 - 6:13 pm

This is just so wrong! We need to do more to help the women in Afghanistan. Where’s the international community action?

Reply
CarlaB July 6, 2023 - 9:10 pm

I can’t even imagine being in their shoes…this is heartbreaking 🙁

Reply
Josh89 July 7, 2023 - 8:50 am

what the hell is wrong with these people, why are they always oppressing women?! It’s 2023 for god’s sake, not the stone age.

Reply
StandWithAfghanWomen July 7, 2023 - 11:29 am

We need to continue to raise awareness about this. The world should not forget about Afghan women. #WomensRights #StandWithAfghanWomen.

Reply
MikeJ July 7, 2023 - 12:26 pm

Can’t believe what’s happening over there…women deserve rights just like everyone else…

Reply

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