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Taliban Forces Order Female Television Hosts to Cover Their Faces

Since the Taliban returned to power last year, they have imposed a number of restrictions on civil society, many of which are aimed at limiting the rights of women.

At the beginning of May, the supreme leader of the Taliban, Hibatullah Akhundzada, issued an order according to which women must cover themselves completely in public with the traditional burka, thus including their whole face.

Previously, the hijab (covering only the hair) was sufficient, while now women are asked for a further sacrifice; another law imposed by men in power, who think they can take decisions for women.

“We resisted and opposed the use of the full veil,” said Sonia Niazi, presenter of TOLOnews, but the broadcaster was pressured and said that any presenter who appeared on the screen without covering her face would have been given another job. Some women, in fact, tried to oppose the new decree, but when threatened with being fired, decided to accept the imposition.

Also, men who work for the government risk suspension if their wives or daughters fail to comply with the decree.

Some testimonies reported on fully explain the situation in which the Afghan women presenters found themselves overnight. TOLOnews director Khpolwak Sapai stated that the channel was “forced” to make its employees comply with the order. “You’re forced to do it,’ they said. You have to do it."There is no other option," Sapai stated. I was called on the phone yesterday and told flatly that I had to do it. So we are doing it not by choice but by force.”

On the other hand, the spokesman of the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, Mohammad Sadeq Akif Mohjir, stated that the authorities have no intention of forcing the presenters to leave their jobs. He later added, "We are pleased that the channels have carried out their duties properly.”

Out of solidarity today, the male journalists and employees of TOLOnews have decided to wear masks that completely cover their faces, leaving free only their eyes.

After the Taliban forces returned to power, despite an initial promise that they would not implement extremist measures, women suffered several hardships shortly thereafter. Nowadays, Afghan women cannot travel alone, and young girls can no longer attend secondary schools. In addition, many television channels have already stopped broadcasting soap operas that have women as protagonists or in which women have important roles.

Once again, women, as has already happened many times in history, in particular in Middle Eastern countries, are deprived of their most basic rights, at the mercy of men, without having the possibility of expressing their opinions.

All this leads us to think of a possible return of the ultraconservative regime that the Taliban had already put in place until 2001; the year in which, following the fall of the twin towers caused by a terrorist attack by ISIS, the Taliban forces were driven out of the country by the United States of America.

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Tags: #women #extremism #freedom #womenrights #television #hijab #conservativeregime #afganistan #burka #tv #injustices #talibal


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