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Taliban force women newsreaders to wear face coverings – as male colleagues act in solidarity

Taliban enforce an order that women newsreaders must cover their faces on air.

The rule was announced on Thursday by the censorship agency. Only a few programs followed it, but most of them were covered up on Sunday.

In an apparent act of solidarity, several male newsreaders were later photographed wearing a black mask on their faces.

After the statement by the Afghanistan’s Information and Culture Ministry last week, the vice and virtue ministry has been enforcing this rule.


Sonia Niazi, TOLOnews presenter, stated that “it is just an outside culture forcing us to wear masks and that can cause a problem for our programs while presenting them.”

Twitter users shared images of Sebghat Sepehr’s male colleague, who presented the evening news wearing a black mask while 1TVNewsAF journalist did the same.

An anonymous media official confirmed that their channel had to follow the order after being told that there was no negotiation.

Learn more about Afghanistan

Another example of Taliban imposing an ultra-conservative interpretation Islam after gaining power last summer after America’s withdrawal after 20 years.

The group had hoped to moderate its approach, since there was no formal dress code for women at the time.

The approach to girls and women has become more strict in recent years, which confirms fears that many people had foretold a return to the Taliban’s worst days from 1996 to 2001.

Image Afghan women are now required to wear the burka. Girls are not allowed to attend high school

The women were instructed earlier this month to cover their heads with the burka , leaving only their eyes visible. Male relatives could face jail or punishment for any violation.

It also stipulated that women should only go outside when absolutely necessary.

Khalid Hanafi (acting minister for the all-male Ministry) stated that “Islamic principles, and Islamic ideology” are more important than any other.

Girls were also banned from attending school beyond sixth grade (around eleven years), in violation of a Taliban promise that everyone could receive an education.

After the fall of the old regime, women and girls were allowed to go back to school and work.

International community has made girls education a priority demand for any recognition of Taliban government.


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