Beauty salon owners and employees appeal for ban to be reversed

Business women in Afghanistan, who are heavily invested in hair and beauty salons, continue to appeal to the Taliban to reverse their ban especially as hundreds of them are the sole breadwinners in their families.

Despite their appeals, many of these women claim that the Taliban has consistently silenced their voices with violence and suppression.

Maryam, one beauty salon owner, has expressed the dire situation faced by women in Afghanistan, stating: “The situation for us women in Afghanistan is very bad, it is just like women and girls are imprisoned in Afghanistan, and we are the breadwinners for our families.”

For these women, each day brings less hope for a better future and they say, regaining what they have lost in the past two years, seems impossible.

Shakiba, another beautician, emphasized their right to live a dignified life like citizens of other countries, stating: “We are also human beings, and we have the right to live a dignified life like citizens of other countries, but no one understands us.”

However, this pain is not confined to individual cases; it is widespread throughout Afghanistan.

Sudaba, who had once dreamt of a better life in the country and received training in the beauty sector, is now contemplating migration due to the dire situation.

“We are forced to leave the country,” she said.

Raising their voices against the ever-increasing edicts against them doesn’t help as the Taliban immediately clamp down on these women.

On Wednesday, beauticians who protested were chased and beaten by the Taliban and sprayed with water cannons.

The Taliban announced early this month that beauty salons were to closed down by the end of this month.

This decision affects a significant number of women in the country, with 60,000 women employed in beauty salons. At least 12,000 businesses are expected to close because of this edict, as reported by a source at the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has also noted a 25 percent decrease in women’s employment in the first four months of 2022, a decline that is set to worsen with the closure of beauty salons.