Taliban orders closure of women’s beauty salons in Afghanistan

The Taliban government announced a ban on women’s beauty salons in Afghanistan and gave a one-month deadline for the closure of all those operating in the country, in the latest in a series of restrictions based on the rigid interpretation of Islamic law.

“The ministry sent a letter to the municipalities to cancel the license of the beauty salons” as of July 25, the spokesman for the Ministry of Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, Mohammad Sadiq Akif Mahajir, told EFE on Tuesday.

In the letter, the all-powerful fundamentalist ministry instructed the authorities in Kabul and other Afghan provinces to end the activities in beauty centers for women throughout this month, and once the deadline has passed, “they will be prohibited” in the country.

The measure was carried out following the order of the supreme leader of the Taliban, Mullah Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada.

This veto, another one that is added to the list of prohibitions imposed on Afghans since the Taliban came to power in August 2021, also represents a significant loss of the few sources of income.

“Thousands of families headed by women will lose 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 center told EFE.

Since the fundamentalists came to power a year and a half ago, women have experienced a setback in terms of rights, with restrictions such as segregation by sex in public places, the imposition of the veil or the obligation to be accompanied by a male relative. on long journeys.

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To this list of cuts was included last December the ban on working in NGOs or studying at the university, an order that follows the ban on female secondary education imposed since the Taliban came to power.

The reality that Afghans live today is increasingly similar to the time of the first regime between 1996 and 2001, when, based on a rigid interpretation of Islam and its strict social code known as Pashtunwali, women were prohibited from attending the schools and confined the women in the home.

Behind many of these regulations against women is the all-powerful Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, an institution that came into force during the first Taliban regime and extinguished with the US invasion, leaving a bad memory for Afghans for the next 20 years.

With the return to power of the Taliban almost two years ago, the institution returned, settling precisely in the now extinct Ministry for Women.

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