KABUL – Taliban-led government has imposed a ban on hundreds of beauty salons operated by women in Afghanistan – the latest crackdown on women’s jobs which severely limits one of the few remaining avenues for female employment in the country.
Taliban’s Ministry of Vice and Virtue issued a text message on Tuesday, ordering an immediate ban on all beauty salons run by women in Kabul and other provinces, with the warning of legal consequences for violators. However, no additional details were provided regarding the reasoning behind the ban.
This move is part of the Taliban’s broader agenda to repress women, pushing them away from prominent roles in both government and society. The United Nations has consistently criticized the Taliban’s previous restrictions, which have already curtailed women’s access to education beyond the sixth grade, employment opportunities in the public and private sectors, as well as activities such as visiting parks or using gyms. These constraints have made it extremely challenging for the international community to recognize the legitimacy of the Taliban government.
In the current circumstances, working in hospitals as nurses and doctors remains the only official employment option available to women in Afghanistan. However, due to the tightening restrictions, women are resorting to covertly working from home as teachers or make-up artists. The ban on beauty salons has had a profound impact on Afghan women who have built their livelihoods and careers in this industry.
The international community, human rights organizations, and advocates for women’s rights continue to condemn these regressive policies, urging the Taliban to recognize and respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of Afghan women.