Ever since Taliban took over Afghanistan, more and more restrictions are being imposed on the women in the country. In the latest, the Taliban government has ordered female TV anchors to cover their faces from chin up to the eyes, before appearing on TV.
The Taliban’s Ministry of Broadcasting and Culture has issued threatening notices to all TV channels, saying that all female TV anchors must cover their faces before appearing onscreen. It said that this was the last notice and there will be no compromise. Punitive action will be taken against TV channels or those who do not comply with the order.
Local media confirmed the release of the decree. Some women TV anchors even posted on social media that they had presented a TV program with their faces covered. Leading Afghan TV anchor Yalda Ali posted a video of herself wearing the hijab and covering her face, saying: “Women’s identities are being erased,”
Until this order, women anchors presented shows on TV with full hijab but their faces were not covered. Women would appear on TV with sophisticated makeup and even lipstick that highlighted their beautiful smiles.
Just recently, Yalda also posted on Twitter a photo of herself with a fellow anchor, both of whom seem to be stressed and teary-eyed. In the caption she said that her smile was now forbidden and her mouth has been shut. Soon women themselves will be banned, she said.
Taliban has made hijab compulsory for women in Afghanistan, no matter the religion or citizenship. Women have no way around this order, so much so that even in the UN mission to help, women were required to wear the hijab.