October 3, 2023

All ladies’s magnificence salons in Afghanistan are as a result of shut on Tuesday as a part of the Taliban administration’s announcement earlier this month that women-only premises are banned beneath Sharia regulation and are creating financial hardship for grooms’ households throughout wedding ceremony celebrations, officers mentioned.

The closure of salons – one of many few remaining public locations in Afghanistan the place ladies may collect outdoors the house – represents one other grim milestone for ladies’s rights in Afghanistan. Because the Taliban took energy in August 2021, the federal government has steadily curtailed ladies’s rights, barring ladies and women from most public locations, touring any vital distance with no male family member, and attending faculty after sixth grade.

The salons got a one-month grace interval to cease their actions.

In keeping with Sadeq Akif Muhajir, a spokesman for the Ministry of Propagating Advantage and Stopping Vice, Taliban safety forces within the capital Kabul made rounds on Tuesday to ensure salons had been abiding by the ban.

The preliminary announcement of the closure of salons sparked a uncommon public outcry earlier this month in Kabul, the capital, the place dozens of salon house owners and beauticians marched down the road holding indicators towards the ban. Safety forces, together with the Taliban administration, broke up the protest utilizing fireplace hoses and firing weapons into the air to disperse the group.

Using power drew criticism from the UN mission in Afghanistan, which tweeted that “Afghans have the best to freedom of expression with out violence. The de facto authorities ought to assist this.”

For a lot of ladies in Kabul, magnificence salons had been thought of one of many few protected locations the place ladies may collect away from males outdoors the house.

Shukria Afshar, 46, labored for 2 years as a beautician on the Gul Raihan magnificence salon in Kabul. She mentioned that her husband solely made a number of {dollars} per week as a day laborer and that the cash from the salon was crucial to supplementing the household’s revenue.

The job additionally supplied her with a much-needed psychological well being outlet as she watched her rights being undermined by the Taliban administration.

“I may do away with the nervousness and psychological stress by going to a salon and dealing,” she mentioned.

In keeping with the Afghanistan Ladies’s Chamber of Commerce and Trade, earlier Taliban decrees restricted ladies in most employment alternatives outdoors of healthcare and personal enterprise, with about 60,000 ladies working in about 12,000 salons throughout Afghanistan.

“This isn’t about getting your hair and nails completed,” mentioned Heather Barr, deputy director of ladies’s rights at Human Rights Watch. “That is about 60,000 ladies who’ve misplaced their jobs. It is about ladies shedding one of many solely locations they may discover neighborhood and assist.”

Such restrictions have additionally drawn widespread worldwide condemnation, together with from different Islamist governments akin to these of Iran and Saudi Arabia, and prompted worldwide human rights displays to label Afghanistan as one of many world’s most restrictive international locations for ladies.

“Ladies and women in Afghanistan face extreme discrimination that may quantity to gender-based persecution, against the law towards humanity,” UN Particular Rapporteur on Afghanistan Richard Bennett mentioned final month. “The de facto authorities look like ruling by means of systemic discrimination with the intent to topic ladies and women to complete domination.”

Safiullah Padshah made a report.

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