Afghanistan: Thousands of beauty salons permanently closed following Taliban order

Thousands of beauty salons in Afghanistan were permanently closed as of Tuesday, following the completion of a one-month deadline by the Taliban on the closure of such businesses.

The sudden move is expected to sever one of the few sources of income available to women in the country and eliminate a cherished space for socializing. This latest policy adds to a series of measures restricting women’s legal rights in Afghanistan.

“No education, no university, and the schools were shut down. Everything is banned, and I’m confused about where I can go and where I can work. Where can I find a legitimate income to feed my family?” asked Injeela Alizada, a makeup artist.

The official reasoning provided by the Taliban’s Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice was that “extravagant sums being spent on makeovers have caused hardship for poor families” and some salon treatments are deemed “un-Islamic.”

Since taking over power in August 2021, the Taliban has imposed numerous restrictions on women’s rights, including barring girls and women from high schools and universities, and prohibiting their participation in public activities such as visiting parks, funfairs, and gyms. Women are also required to cover up in public.

The closure of beauty salons further exacerbates the challenges faced by Afghan women, as it limits their opportunities for financial independence and social engagement.

As the Taliban continues to implement stringent policies, concerns have been raised about the impact on the lives and freedoms of women in Afghanistan.