Active Stocks
Sat May 18 2024 12:49:03
  1. Tata Motors share price
  2. 952.95 0.76%
  1. Power Grid Corporation Of India share price
  2. 316.85 1.12%
  1. Tata Steel share price
  2. 167.90 0.39%
  1. ITC share price
  2. 436.50 -0.02%
  1. State Bank Of India share price
  2. 821.30 0.42%
Business News/ News / World/  Afghan women take to streets to protest Taliban's ban on beauty parlours
BackBack

Afghan women take to streets to protest Taliban's ban on beauty parlours

Afghan women protest the Taliban's order to close down beauty parlours. The ban is the latest measure restricting women's participation in public life.

FILE - A woman enters a beauty salon in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. A spokesman at Afghanistan's Vice and Virtue Ministry said Tuesday, July 4, 2023, the Taliban are banning women's beauty salons. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File) (AP)Premium
FILE - A woman enters a beauty salon in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. A spokesman at Afghanistan's Vice and Virtue Ministry said Tuesday, July 4, 2023, the Taliban are banning women's beauty salons. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File) (AP)

Security officials in Kabul on Wednesday used force to disperse a group of Afghan women who were protesting against the Taliban's order to close down beauty parlours.

As reported by AFP, the ban on beauty parlours is the latest measure imposed by the Taliban to restrict women's participation in public life. Since taking control in August 2021, the Taliban has imposed various restrictions on girls and women, including barring them from schools and universities, prohibiting them from visiting parks, funfairs, and gyms, and mandating them to cover up in public.

The recent order, issued last month, has compelled the shutdown of numerous beauty parlours across the country, which are predominantly run by women and often serve as the main source of income for households. This decision has also eliminated one of the scarce opportunities for women to socialize outside their homes.

Also Read: Taliban's bizarre explanation for women's beauty salon ban puts focus on grooms

"Don't take my bread and water," read a sign carried by one of the protesters on Butcher Street, which boasts a concentration of the capital's salons.

Public demonstrations are not common in Afghanistan and are often forcefully dispersed. On Wednesday, approximately 50 women participated in a protest, catching the attention of security personnel.

Subsequently, protesters shared videos and photos with journalists, depicting the use of a firehose by authorities to disperse the gathering, with the sound of shots heard in the background, AFP reported.

"Today we arranged this protest to talk and negotiate," said a salon worker, whose name has not been published by AFP for security reasons.

"But today, no one came to talk to us, to listen to us. They didn't pay any attention to us and after a while, they dispersed us by aerial firing and water cannon."

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) expressed its condemnation of the dispersal of the protest.

"Afghans have the right to express views free from violence. De facto authorities must uphold this."

In late June the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice gave salons a month to close down, saying the grace period would allow them to use up stock.

It said it made the order because extravagant sums spent on makeovers caused hardship for poor families, and that some treatments at the salons were un-Islamic.

Too much make-up prevented women from proper ablutions for prayer, the ministry said, while eyelash extensions and hair weaving were also forbidden.

A copy of the order seen by AFP said it was "based on verbal instruction from the supreme leader" Hibatullah Akhundzada.

During the 20-year period when United States-led forces were present in Afghanistan, beauty parlours proliferated in Kabul and other cities. These establishments were viewed as safe spaces for women to gather and socialize, separate from men, and also offered significant economic opportunities for women entrepreneurs.

However, a report submitted to the UN's Human Rights Council last month by Richard Bennett, the special rapporteur for Afghanistan, highlighted the dire situation of women and girls in the country, stating that their plight was one of the most severe in the world.

"Grave, systematic and institutionalized discrimination against women and girls is at the heart of Taliban ideology and rule, which also gives rise to concerns that they may be responsible for gender apartheid," Bennett said.

Also Read: Taliban now bans women's beauty salons in Kabul and other provinces in Afghanistan

Last month, Akhundzada, the leader of the Taliban, who typically remains secluded and governs through decrees from Kandahar, asserted that Afghan women were being liberated from "traditional oppressions" through the implementation of Islamic governance. He claimed that this approach restored their status as "free and dignified human beings."

Earlier on July 7, Sadiq Akif Mahjer, the spokesperson for the Taliban's Virtue and Vice Ministry, explained in a video clip the specific services offered by salons that were considered to contradict Islamic teachings. These services included eyebrow shaping, using other individuals' hair to enhance a woman's natural hair, and applying makeup.

The imposition of restrictions on Afghan girls and women by the Taliban has sparked reactions at both the national and international levels. 

(With inputs from agencies)

Unlock a world of Benefits! From insightful newsletters to real-time stock tracking, breaking news and a personalized newsfeed - it's all here, just a click away! Login Now!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mausam Jha
A journalist covering International Relations, and Business.
Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less
Published: 20 Jul 2023, 08:57 AM IST
Next Story footLogo
Recommended For You