UN urges Taliban to reverse ban on women’s beauty salons in Afghanistan

Kabul, Jul 5 (EFE).- The United Nations Assistance Mission (UNAMA) in Afghanistan on Wednesday urged the Taliban government to reverse its recently announced ban on women’s beauty salons, a measure that it said would further squeeze women out of public life in the country.

“UNAMA calls on the de facto authorities to halt the edict closing beauty salons. This new restriction on women’s rights will impact negatively on the economy and contradicts stated support for women entrepreneurship,” the mission said in a short statement.

Taliban had on Tuesday ordered women’s beauty parlors across the country to wind down their businesses within a month.

The Taliban’s Ministry for the propagation of virtue and the prevention of vice has instructed municipality authorities in the capital and all 33 provinces to cancel licenses of the beauty salons by 25 July.

However, UNAMA said it “remains engaged with stakeholders seeking reversal of the bans.”

The order to close the beauty salons was decided by the so-called virtue and vice Ministry following the verbal instructions of Taliban’s supreme leader Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada.

The ban is another blow in the lives of Afghan women, who already lost a significant portion of their sources of income as well as basic rights such as education, since the Taliban seized power in August 2021.

Since then, Afghan women’s rights have drastically diminished due to multiple restrictions being imposed one after the other, such as gender segregation in public places, the imposition of the burqa and the requirement to be accompanied by a male relative on long-distance journeys.

In December, the hardliners banned women from studying in universities and working in non-governmental organizations, an order that followed the long-standing ban on girls’ secondary education, imposed since the group’s return to power.

Over the last two years, the Taliban have been reinstating the oppressive norms of their previous regime – between 1996-2001- based on a rigid interpretation of Islamic law that stripped women out of several fundamental rights including access to education, work and public life. EFE


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