Taliban enforces order for Afghan women TV anchors to cover faces

May 23, 2022

Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers have started to enforce a new order requiring all-female TV news anchors in the country to cover their faces while on air.

Most female anchors were seen with their faces covered after the Taliban’s Vice and Virtue Ministry began enforcing the decree. The Information and Culture Ministry previously announced that the policy was “final and non-negotiable.”

During the Taliban’s last time in power in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, they imposed overwhelming restrictions on women, requiring them to wear the all-encompassing burqa and barring them from public life and education.

After they seized power again in August, the Taliban initially appeared to have moderated somewhat their restrictions, announcing no dress code for women. But in recent weeks, they have made a sharp, hard-line pivot that has confirmed the worst fears of rights activists and further complicated Taliban dealings with an already distrustful international community.

Earlier this month, the Taliban ordered all women in public to wear head-to-toe clothing that leaves only their eyes visible. The decree said women should leave the home only when necessary and those male relatives would face punishment for women’s dress code violations, starting with a summons and escalating to court hearings and jail time.

The Taliban leadership has also barred girls from attending school after the sixth grade, reversing previous promises by Taliban officials that girls of all ages would be allowed an education.