The Taliban are banning women’s beauty salons in Afghanistan, following other curbs on women’s rights and freedoms such as barring them from education, public spaces, and most forms of employment.
Driving the news: The Taliban-run Virtue and Vice Ministry issued a notice to ban women’s beauty salons in all provinces including the capital, Kabul.
* Spokesman Mohammad Sidik Akif Mahajar confirmed the ban but did not provide details.
* According to a ministry-issued letter, all salons have a month to wind down their businesses and must then close and report their closure. The letter does not explain the reason for the ban.
Impact on local economy: The ban is expected to negatively affect the economy and undermine women’s entrepreneurship.
* One local salon owner, who did not want to be identified, said that between eight to 12 women visit her salon every day. She is the only breadwinner in her family after her husband’s death in 2017.
* The UN mission in Afghanistan expressed its concerns, noting that the new restriction “contradicts stated support for women entrepreneurship.”
Background: The Taliban, who seized Afghanistan in August 2021 as U.S. and NATO forces were pulling out, promised a more moderate rule than during their previous time in power in the 1990s. However, they have since imposed several harsh limitations on women, leading to international outrage and further isolation for Afghanistan.
* Besides the beauty salon ban, women have been barred from public spaces like parks and gyms and the media has experienced an increased crackdown.
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