Taliban order to close all beauty salons in Afghanistan

The Taliban administration in Afghanistan has ordered the closure of beauty salons within a month, the morality ministry said, in the latest reduction in access to public places for Afghan women.

“The deadline for the closure of beauty salons for women is one month,” Mohammad Sadiq Akif, spokesman for the Ministry for the Prevention of Vice and the Propagation of Virtue, said on Tuesday, referring to a notice from the ministry.

Foreign governments and UN officials have condemned increasing restrictions on women since the Taliban returned to power in 2021 after defeating a US-backed government when foreign forces withdrew.

Last year, the authorities closed most girls’ secondary schools, barred women from college and prevented many Afghan aid workers from working. Many public places, including bathrooms, gyms, and parks, have been closed to women.

Beauty salons sprang up in Kabul and other Afghan cities in the months after the Taliban were ousted from power in late 2001, weeks after the 9/11 attacks on the United States.

Many remained open after the Taliban returned to power two years ago, providing work to some women and services to their clients. The salons are usually for women only and have the windows covered so that the clients cannot be seen from the outside.

Sahar, a Kabul resident who visited a salon every few weeks to get her hair and nails done, he said he felt one last avenue to socializing safely outside of the family had now been cut off.

“The parks are not allowed for women, so it was a good place to meet our friends…it was a good reason to see each other, to meet other women, other girls to talk about issues,” she said, asking that Your full name is not published for security reasons. “Now I don’t know how to meet them, how to see them, how to talk to each other… I think it will have a big impact for us and the women of Afghanistan,” she said.

Western governments and international organizations have pointed out that restrictions on women are hindering any possible progress towards international recognition of the Taliban administration. The administration says it respects women’s rights in accordance with its interpretation of Islamic law and Afghan customs.

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