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The Taliban closed all beauty salons in Afghanistan, one of the last spaces for women’s freedom


thousands of Beauty salons are permanently closed This Tuesday in Afghanistan as a decree by the Taliban authorities enters into force, depriving women of one of their few sources of income and one of their last spaces of freedom.

Since their return to power in August 2021, the Taliban, the Muslim fundamentalists, Women were excluded From the majority of secondary education centers, universities and public administration.

Women also cannot work in international organizations, access parks, gardens, gyms, or public toilets, or travel without being accompanied by a male relative. also It should be completely covered when leaving the house.

The decision to close beauty salons, announced by decree at the end of June, means the disappearance of thousands of businesses run by women. These institutions were often the only source of income for their families and they were formed One of the last spaces of freedom and socialization for Afghans.

“We used to come here and spend time talking about our future. Now, even that right has been taken away from us,” said Baharah, a client of a beauty salon in Kabul.

“Women do not have the right to enter places of entertainment. What can we do? Where can we have fun? Where can we meet?”

About 60,000 women were affected

The ban on beauty salons It will lose the income of about 60,000 women Women work in 12,000 establishments, according to the Afghan Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

This Tuesday, many halls in Kabul They have already closed their doors, while others have waited until the last minute to do so.

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One of the owners recounted that she was Forced to sign a letter In it, he said that he closed his establishment of his own free will and gave up his license to run it.

“It was a terrible scene: they arrived with military vehicles and guns,” he said, without revealing his identity. “What can a woman do in the face of all this insistence and pressure?”

Last week, security forces fired shots into the air and used water cannons to disperse Afghan protesters in Kabul against the decree.

When the measure was confirmed days after the decree was issued, the Ministry for the Prevention of Vice and the Promotion of the Order specified that the saloons They had a month until Tuesday to close their doors.

The ministry justified closing the halls by claiming that people spend exorbitant sums on weddings, which it considered a heavy burden on poor families. The services provided do not comply with Islamic Sharia.

The ministry said wearing makeup prevents women from performing ablution properly before praying. False eyelashes and braids were also banned.

A written copy of the decree seen by AFP indicates that the decision was based on A Verbal Instructions from the Overlord From Afghanistan, Hebatullah Akhundzadeh.

Beauty salons have proliferated in Kabul and other large Afghan cities during 20 years of occupation by US and NATO forces.

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