The Taliban shuts down hairdressers and women’s beauty salons

Step by step, the Taliban are erasing women from the public square in the emirate, and last week ordered the closure of small businesses run by women and the closure of women’s hair and beauty salons.

Baghlan Province, in the north of the country, is the final stage to implement these new restrictions already in place in Kunduz, Takhar and Badakhshan and which will soon extend to all parts of the country, with Kabul as the final stage. The capital is where the Islamists find the greatest resistance and where the most significant women’s protests have been recorded since the re-establishment of the emirate.

“Agents from the Ministry of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in Baghlan, in addition to closing women’s hair salons, have warned owners against giving rental premises to businesses run by women,” local newspaper Hesht Sobh reported. And confirmed this method itself that its owners asked the Islamists a margin of no less than ten days to be able to apply this new rule.

critical sound

The pressure measures exerted by the international community, such as freezing Afghan funds abroad or suspending the work of international organizations, do not make some Islamists back down, who in just over a year have closed secondary schools and universities to women, and have been dismissed from jobs. From public bodies and international organizations, they were erased from TV series and silenced on radio stations. Upon their arrival in Kabul they also closed down the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and opened in its place the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice.

It is difficult to find critical voices within the Islamic movement as the Supreme Leader says, Hebatullah AkhundzadehThey are orders. In the midst of this interconnected climate, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abbas Stanikzai, said that “everyone has freedom. If the new measures are contrary to Sharia, then one does not have to accept them, and one can refuse to accept them.” These words were interpreted as a criticism of the continuing restrictions experienced by women in the country that made them lose the ground they had gained in the first two decades of the century in little more than a year.

Stanikzai was the only leader of the Islamic Movement to take a stand in September against the closure of schools and reminded his colleagues that “education is compulsory for both men and women without any discrimination. No one can provide a legitimate justification for opposing women’s right to education.” Words picked up by the Afghan media did not affect the Taliban’s decisions.

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