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20.05.2022 Featured Taliban Orders Female Broadcasters to Cover Faces When Appearing on TV

Published 20th May, 2022

By Joseph Adeiye

The Taliban has ordered female broadcasters to cover up their faces whenever they appear on television.

Representatives of the ministries of vice, virtue and information said the order, which has been sent to all media houses in the country, is a final verdict, according to Tolonews, an Afghan media platform.

”Informing MOBY Group of the order, representatives of the ministries of Vice and Virtue and Information and Culture called it a final verdict and not up for discussion,” TOLOnews tweeted on Thursday.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Silent as Other Countries Evacuate Their Citizens From Afghanistan

The Taliban, an armed fundamentalist Muslim movement, set up certain laws restricting the freedom of females in the country after seizing power in August 2021. Reports from various human rights groups have described the Taliban’s laws on women as repressive.

In March, the Taliban announced again that girls would not attend secondary schools in Afghanistan. A student told Human Rights Watch that the Taliban authorities wanted to make women give up on education. This law accompanied new laws restricting the movement of women ‘over long distances’. The Taliban also disqualified women from working in the healthcare or education sector.

Heather Barr, associate women’s rights director at Human Rights Watch, said the Taliban’s new edict limits freedom and expression. “In addition to violating women’s rights to freedom and expression, this will also block access to information for people with impaired hearing who lip-read and people who rely on visual speech cues to help them understand people on TV,” Barr tweeted on Thursday.  

READ ALSO: Afghan Journalist Whose Life is in Danger Speaks From Hiding

The Taliban forces men and organisations to take responsibility for ‘violations’ by female relatives or employees.

“In a cruel twist, the decree makes women’s relatives and employers the enforcers. If their faces are seen in public, their male ‘guardian’ will be fined, then jailed. If the woman who goes out uncovered or her relative works for the government, they must be fired,” The Guardian reported on May 7.

Afghanistan is currently battling a multifaceted humanitarian crisis. Families are hungry, the healthcare system is failing, and Afghans struggle to make ends meet amidst drought and unemployment. The Taliban seems more focused on controlling women than helping their citizens in these trying times.

Published 20th May, 2022

By Joseph Adeiye

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