Although at first they tried to resist, the Afghan presenters and journalists appeared this Sunday with their faces covered on television, upon fulfilling the Taliban’s ultimatum for them to continue their mandate without exception, in what represents a new setback for women’s rights in Afghanistan.

“The burqa and everything else that they impose on us will not stop us and we will continue our battle for our rights,” Arayan channel presenter Basira Joya said during her program, with her face covered, reminding the Taliban that “Islam is a religion of kindness and never imposes anything on men or women.

Khpolwak Sapai, director of Tolo News, the main private news channel, shared on his social networks images of his female staff with their faces covered: “Today we have a deep regret,” said the veteran journalist, who like the rest of his companions used masks as a sign of solidarity. The monitoring of the Taliban mandate after the ultimatum was widespread, as could be seen on other Afghan channels such as ShamShad, Tamadon, Rah-e-Farda, Zhuandon or Noorin.

“We verbally insisted that they abide by the order and today all the media implemented it,” the main spokesman for the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, Mohammad Sadiq Akif, told Efe.

Mandatory use of the burqa

The Taliban had insisted three days ago to the media about the order made public on May 7, which decreed the mandatory use of the burqa or similar clothing that covers the entire face of women, but in the face of resistance from some journalists, the ultimatum was imposed.

The spokesman celebrated the setback of women’s rights, indicating that “all media employees obeyed the order”, but warned that if they are brought to their attention again, they will be forced to act following the previously announced actions. .

According to these measures, if an official fails to comply with the order, she will be automatically dismissed, while in the rest of the cases a guardian or male member of the family will be notified first, and if the non-compliance persists, he will be called to testify, he may “to be detained for three days” and “delivered to the courts to receive his punishment” as a last resort.


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