The Taliban In Afghanistan Closes Beauty Salons
No one expected this latest news in Afghanistan. Who did the Taliban attack? Women! How did they do that? They ordered the closure of beauty salons in the country. Women’s rights activist Mahbouba Serraj, who is a very outspoken critic of the Taliban says “There are no public places left…where women can congregate.”
How does the Taliban explain this, their latest edict? “It banned women’s salons because they provide services forbidden by Islam and caused economic hardship for the groom’s family.” Not many people buy that explanation. What specifically do they object to? They include “eyebrow shaping, the use of other people’s hair to augment a woman’s natural hair and application of makeup, which interferes with the ablutions required before offering prayers for worship. In reality, it is one more way for the Taliban to tighten its grip on every aspect of what was once normal life. Many women in Afghanistan have become the chief breadwinners for their families. This latest blow has taken away one of their chief sources of income.
Losing a source of livelihood is serious enough, but probably more importantly, Afghan women lost the last place where they could freely congregate, communicate and be themselves. Women keep saying, “Why did they close salons?” Some say, “They could have just put a lot of restrictions on them like they have on every other existing institution. They didn’t have to close them”
Seraj goes on to explain: “Any time when I went to these salons… you would sit down and talk to the women, and there were other women around, and there was always this whole congregation of women, you know, sitting around and talking and each one of them doing something, And that was a place for women to gather. And now that is not happening…. It’s taken away, like everything in Afghanistan.”
Women are pretty much housebound as it is, but now without this place to socialize with others, it just becomes one more detestable restriction of the Taliban. Experts say 20 years of progress for women and girls’ rights has been erased under Taliban rule.