Kabul, July 4 (EFE).- The Taliban government has in a recent decree imposed a ban on women’s beauty salons in Afghanistan, the latest in a series of restrictions on women’s fundamental rights and freedoms, since the Islamist group returned to power in Kabul in 2021.
The Ministry for the propagation of virtue and prevention of vice on Tuesday confirmed to EFE that beauty parlors were ordered to wind down their businesses within a month in capital Kabul and all 33 Afghan provinces.
“The ministry has sent a letter to the municipalities to cancel the licenses of the beauty salons” from July 25, the ministry’s spokesperson Mohammad Sadiq Akif told EFE.
In the letter, the ministry has instructed authorities in Kabul and the provinces to close all beauty salons by the July 25 deadline.
The order to close beauty parlors was issued following the verbal instructions of Taliban’s supreme leader Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada.
The ban is another blow in the lives of Afghan women, who already lost a significant portion of their sources of income as well as basic rights such as education, since the Taliban seized power in August 2021.
“Thousands of women’ families will lose their sources of income. This is really difficult for us to survive and it is a kind of torture for us,” a make-up artist at a Kabul beauty parlor salon told EFE.
Since the Taliban came to power two years ago, Afghan women’s rights have drastically diminished due to multiple restrictions being imposed one after the other, such as gender segregation in public places, the imposition of the burqa and the requirement to be accompanied by a male relative on long-distance journeys.
In December, Taliban banned women from studying in universities and working in non-governmental organizations, an order that followed the long-standing ban on girls’ secondary education, imposed since the Taliban’s return to power.
Over the last two years, the Taliban have been reinstating the oppressive norms of their previous regime – between1996-2001- based on a rigid interpretation of Islamic law that stripped women out of several fundamental rights including access to education, work and public life.
The so-called Virtue and Vice ministry, which has been responsible for executing the restrictions on women, was created during the Taliban’s first regime, later being dissolved after the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.
After the Taliban returned to power in 2021, they reestablished the feared ministry and this time placed in the same building that had housed the women’s affairs ministry of the previous Afghan government. EFE