Taliban orders closure of beauty salons in Afghanistan: Report

The vice and virtue ministry of the Taliban has issued an order for the closure of beauty salons within a month, marking another setback for women’s access to public spaces, Reuters reported.

According to Reuters, Mohammad Sadiq Akif, a Taliban spokesperson for the ministry for the prevention of vice and propagation of virtue, stated on Tuesday that “the deadline for the closing of beauty parlors for women is one month,” referring to a notice issued by the ministry.

While the Taliban has not officially commented on the matter, a letter outlining the deadline for the closure of beauty salons in the country has been widely shared on social media since the beginning of this week.

Foreign governments and UN officials have expressed condemnation for the increasing restrictions imposed on women since the Taliban took power in 2021 after the withdrawal of foreign forces and the fall of the previous government.

Under Taliban rule, secondary schools are closed for girls and women have been banned from attending universities, working for NGOs and their presence has been restricted at public places such as bathhouses, gyms and parks.

In the months following the Taliban’s removal from power in late 2001, after the September 11 attacks on the United States, beauty salons emerged in Kabul and other cities in the country. Despite the return of the Taliban to power two years ago, many of these salons remained open, although they covered their signs and windows. This provided employment opportunities for some women and allowed customers to avail themselves of their services.

Taliban claims to respect women’s rights in accordance with its interpretation of Islamic law and Afghan customs.