Taliban’s “evil” ban on women beauty salons sparks outrage and condemnations

The Taliban’s ban on women’s beauty salons across Afghanistan has sparked anger and criticism by many inside and outside Afghanistan, including human rights activists and organisations.

Earlier this week, the Taliban supreme leader, Mullah Hibatullah Akhunzada, ordered salons to be closed down by 24 July, adding to the string of over 50 repressive edicts against women and girls.

The ban comes after Akhunzada’s message on Eid claiming that the group has freed women from “oppression” and has carried out “necessary steps for the betterment of women as half of the society.”

A beauty salon owner, who lost her husband in a car bomb attacked in 2017, told the AP said that as her family’s sole breadwinner, the ban on her work will put her in financial difficulties.

“Day by day they [the Taliban] are imposing limitations on women,” she said. “Why are they only targeting women? Aren’t we human? Don’t we have the right to work or live?” She asked.

The UN’s representative office in Kabul, UNAMA, took to Twitter to call on the Taliban to halt the ban.

Heather Barr, an associate director at Human Rights Watch, expressed her outrage at ban and accused the group of thinking all day to close down public spaces for women.

Muska Dastageer, a university lecturer, agreed with Barr.

Samira Hamidi, an activist and campaigner, said:

The Paris-based Women Forum said the ban further limits women’s rights in Afghanistan.

Adesola Ayo-Aderele, a journalist, called the ban “evil”.

Tahera Nasiri, a human rights activist, condemned the ban as “anti-women” and”medieval”. “The ban means that the Taliban has closed the doors of financial opportunities for women” she said.