Taliban Orders Hair, Beauty Salons to Shut Down

'The Taliban are taking away the most basic human rights from Afghan women'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 4, 2023 12:15 PM CDT
Taliban Orders All Beauty Salons to Close
A woman walks past a beauty salon and dress shop in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015.   (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File)

Afghanistan's Taliban rulers have taken yet another freedom away from the country's women. The Vice and Virtue Ministry has ordered women's hair and beauty salons across the country to close, the BBC reports. An order issued July 2 gave salon owners one month to wind down their businesses and submit a report on their closure. Ministry officials didn't give a reason for the order, but said it would be disclosed after the salons had shut down.

The ministry's letter to salons said it conveyed a verbal order from supreme leader Haibatullah Akhunzada, who claimed days ago that the Taliban had restored the status of women as "free and dignified," Al Jazeera reports. Since regaining power in 2021, the group has banned women from education, many public spaces, and most forms of employment, the AP notes.

"The Taliban are taking away the most basic human rights from Afghan women," an Afghan woman who asked to remain anonymous tells the BBC. "When I heard the news, I was completely shocked," she says. "It seems the Taliban do not have any political plan other than focusing on women's bodies. They are trying to eliminate women at every level of public life." The announcement of the ban caused an outcry from rights groups and the United Nations said it would try to work with Afghanistan's government to have the ban reversed. (In April, Afghanistan's only radio station run by women was taken off the air.)

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