Taliban salon ban a blow to Afghan women’s freedom

STORY: These salon employees are getting ready to shut up shop for what could be the last time.

The Taliban’s ban on beauty salons for women in Afghanistan comes into effect on Tuesday (July 25).

An estimated 12,000 beauty businesses are likely to shutter.

The ban will also put more than 60,000 women out of a job, adding further strain on an economy already in crisis.

These beauticians are among those who invested large sums to get their businesses off the ground.

“I’m experiencing one of the worst and darkest days of my life, total absolute disappointment. We started our work with lots of passion and enthusiasm, but unfortunately everything is over now.”

“When I heard this announcement I got very upset, day by day the Taliban are trying to eliminate women from society somehow. They banned schools, universities, and employment of women, day by day they are increasing the restrictions.”

As well as beauty services, the salons provided many Afghan women with a safe, female-only space where they could meet outside their homes and without a male chaperone.

Faced with rapidly diminishing options, dozens of women staged a rare protest against the ban. Footage shot by protesters shows the Taliban using water cannons to break up the demonstration.

The morality ministry said the ban on salons was based on an order from the supreme spiritual leader.

Similar orders have led to the closure of high schools and universities to women and stopped many Afghan female aid staff from working.

The Taliban administration say they respect women’s rights in line with their interpretation of Islamic law and Afghan culture.

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