Afghan women protest against closure of beauty salons by Taliban

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afghan women protest
Afghan women protesting over beauty salon closure (Photo: News Intervention)

Amidst the echoes of history repeating itself, the capital city of Kabul became a battleground for women’s rights once again. On a fateful Wednesday, approximately 50 courageous women gathered and raised their voice against the closure of Beauty Salons. They raised the slogans of”work, bread, and justice.” Their plea, however, was met with forceful opposition from the Taliban guards who responded with water cannons, and some reports even suggested the use of stun guns against the protesters.

Since the Taliban’s return to power in 2021, women’s rights have been increasingly curtailed. They have been barred from classrooms, gyms, and parks, their presence systematically erased from public spaces. More recently, the ban extended to working for the United Nations, further shrinking their opportunities for economic empowerment.

The closure of beauty salons, marks another painful chapter in Afghanistan’s history of gender inequality. On July 2, Taliban announced a one-month deadline for the closure of every beauty salon across Afghanistan. Taliban justifies these actions by claiming that the wearing of wigs and eyebrow-plucking contradict Islamic values.

However, these justifications are seen by many as mere smokescreens, concealing a deeper agenda of repressing women’s autonomy and perpetuating a patriarchal ideology. The international community has expressed strong condemnation, but the Taliban remains resolute in their stance.

Haunting Memories Of Past

The scenes were reminiscent of a dark past when the Taliban last ruled from 1996 to 2001. During those years, Afghan women endured severe restrictions on their rights and freedoms. The closure of beauty salons, a haunting reminder of those oppressive times, now threatens to strip away 60,000 jobs from the women of Afghanistan. Eventually, the closure would leave them even more marginalized and vulnerable.

Despite the harsh backlash against these measures, brave Afghan women have continued to defy these oppressive rules through sporadic protests. Their resilience is a testament to the unwavering spirit of those who refuse to be silenced.

As the struggle for women’s rights continues, the echoes of history serve as a stark reminder of the challenges ahead. The repressive policies enforced by the Taliban threaten to push Afghan women back into the shadows, erasing the hard-fought progress made over the years.

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