The Taliban has announced that they are banning women's beauty salons in Afghanistan.
Under the Taliban, women have been barred from attending school past sixth-grade, can only be treated by women doctors, and cannot work for non-governmental organizations, including the U.N. Women are also segregated from men in all public spaces, and subject to detention for “moral crimes” under extreme “modesty rules.”
The ban on beauty salons, announced Tuesday, is just the latest in the Taliban's crackdown on women's rights within the country. The order comes directly from supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada, giving salons one month's notice to shut down and submit closure reports. There was no stated reason for the ban.
As women are only allowed to be serviced by other women, there will soon be no places within the country where women can receive cosmetic services. It will also shut down many of the few-remaining women-owned and operated businesses in Afghanistan.
The United Nations on Tuesday condemned the ban, stating that they are engaged with authorities and working to reverse the decision. The U.N. mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) publicly urged the Taliban to reverse the order on Twitter.
"This new restriction on women’s rights will impact negatively on the economy and contradicts stated support for women entrepreneurship," they wrote.
The United Nations recently warned of conditions in the country that "could amount to femicide." Their May report notes that the government has been “ruling through the most extreme forms of misogyny" though the restrictions "appear not to be shared by the vast majority of Afghans.” It is also having a significant impact on women's mental and physical health.
“We are alarmed about widespread mental health issues and accounts of escalating suicides among women and girls,” they said in a joint statement. “This extreme situation of institutionalized gender-based discrimination in Afghanistan is unparalleled anywhere in the world.”