Journalism in the service of society

AFGHANISTAN: Women protest against beauty parlour ban

Security officials shot into the air and used firehoses to disperse dozens of Afghan women protesting in Kabul Wednesday against an order by Taliban authorities to shut down beauty parlours, the latest curb to squeeze them out of public life.

Since seizing power in August 2021, the Taliban government has barred girls and women from high schools and universities, banned them from parks, funfairs and gyms, and ordered them to cover up in public.

The order issued last month forces the closure of thousands of beauty parlours nationwide run by women — often the only source of income for households — and outlaws one of the few remaining opportunities for them to socialise away from home.

“Don’t take my bread and water,” read a sign carried by one of the protesters on Butcher Street, which boasts a concentration of the capital’s salons.

Public protests are rare in Afghanistan — and frequently dispersed by force — but AFP saw around 50 women taking part in Wednesday’s gathering, quickly attracting the attention of security personnel.

Protesters later shared videos and photos with journalists that showed authorities using a firehose to disperse them as shots could be heard in the background.

“Today we arranged this protest to talk and negotiate,” said a salon worker, whose name has not been published by AFP for security reasons.

“But today, no one came to talk to us, to listen to us. They didn’t pay any attention to us and after a while they dispersed us by aerial firing and water cannon.”

Comments are closed.

Naija Times