Several beauty salon owners, who have converted their establishments into tailoring and handicraft shops, have come forward with distressing accounts of mistreatment at the hands of Taliban members in the city of Bamiyan.
These women reveal that they were subjected to beatings, detentions, torture, and fines by the Taliban, all stemming from accusations of providing makeup to a young woman who had visited the local market.
According to the women, a young lady from Kabul made her way to the market on Tuesday afternoon to explore the beauty salons, which have now transformed into handicraft stores.
While the woman was perusing the market’s offerings, a Taliban member entered one of the shops and accused the young lady of looking for makeup rather than engaging in shopping.
The women said that the Taliban warned them to avoid carrying nail polish and lipsticks in their bags.
“Their claim was that, while we didn’t offer her makeup services and didn’t have makeup materials in our store, she was wearing makeup. They proceeded to search her bag and discovered nail polish and lipstick. This discovery led them to conclude that she had received makeup here. The Taliban then proceeded to physically assault the women, issuing threats and subjecting them to humiliation. They [Taliban] demanded harsher beatings and insisted on detaining and confining them. Our future has become increasingly uncertain. The fate of beauticians hangs in the balance,” the owner of one handicraft shop at the market said.
The women, who faced this distressing ordeal, said there is no avenue available for them to voice their concerns or seek justice against the actions of the Taliban. Their plea for recourse falls on deaf ears.
“Our sense of security was severely compromised today. In fact, the Taliban went as far as to inform us that they intend to confine us within a cage for two nights as a lesson,” said one woman shop owner who asked not to be named.
“We find ourselves caught in a conundrum without any viable options. We’re stranded, unable to make our way forward or even to stand still,” she said.
The aftermath of the Taliban’s decision has brought direct repercussions, impacting the livelihoods of a minimum of 60,000 women who were employed in beauty salons. The decision also affected at least 12,000 salons that were forced to close down across the country.
As of now, the Taliban has refrained from commenting on the incident that took place at the Bamiyan market.