Beauty salons in Afghanistan ordered to close by Taliban


Published: 2023-07-05 16:07

Last Updated: 2023-11-16 21:02

Beauty salons in Afghanistan ordered to close by Taliban
Beauty salons in Afghanistan ordered to close by Taliban

The Taliban in Afghanistan has ordered the closure of beauty salons within a month. The order was made by the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice and is part of a larger crackdown on public places for Afghan women.

Foreign countries and UN officials have condemned the restrictions on women since the Taliban took back power in 2021, following the withdrawal of US-backed forces.

Authorities closed most secondary schools for girls last year, restricted women from attending university, and prevented many female Afghan aid staff from working. Bathhouses, gyms, and parks, as well as other public spaces, have been closed to women.

The Taliban has also ordered that women dress so that only their eyes are visible, and they must be accompanied by a male relative if they are traveling more than 72 kilometers.

“The Taliban are taking away the most basic human rights from Afghan women,” an Afghan woman requesting anonymity told the BBC.

“By this decision, they are now depriving women from serving other women. When I heard the news, I was completely shocked,” she said. “They are trying to eliminate women at every level of public life.”

After the Taliban were driven from power in late 2001, beauty salons opened in Kabul and other Afghan cities. Many remained open after the Taliban took power again two years ago. The salons are often female-only and spray painted their windows to prevent customers from being seen.

Sahar, a Kabul resident who spoke with the Guardian and often visited a salon to get her hair and nails done, said she felt that it was now impossible for women to safely socialize.

Women are no longer able to meet each other in parks, she said. She added that parks used to be an opportunity to meet other women and talk about issues.

“Now I don’t know how to meet them, how to see them, how to talk to each other,” Sahar told the Guardian. “I think it will be very impactful for us and women around Afghanistan.”

Western governments and international organizations have made clear that restrictions on women will prevent the Taliban from being internationally recognized.

The Taliban administration says that it respects women’s rights and must take Islamic law and Afgan customs into account.