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Taliban tightens its moral policing, orders female television presenters to cover their faces; university girls with colorful headscarves barred entry

Since coming to power in August last year, the ultra-conservative group has imposed several restrictions, including ban education for secondary level girls, and barring women from driving and traveling without male relatives

May 19, 2022
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The Taliban issued directives to Afghan broadcasting media, asking them to ensure female presenters on their channels cover their faces, a move which comes as a part of a series of other measures further restricting the freedom of women and girls across the country.

TOLOnews, Afghanistan’s biggest broadcasting media group, confirmed in a series of tweets that they have received directives from the Taliban authorities, demanding women presenters in all channels cover their faces while presenting programs.

Furthermore, a number of Afghan journalists reported on Wednesday that female students wearing headscarves of color other than black and blue were also barred from entering the Kabul University.

These directives, issued and enforced by the personnel of the infamous Ministry of Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, indicate the group's attempt at what appears a full-scale Talibanization of Afghan society. TOLOnews reported that the Taliban authorities have informed that these directives were not negotiable.

Since coming to power in August last year, the ultra-conservative group has imposed several restrictions, including ban education for secondary level girls, and barring women from driving and traveling without male relatives.

In the initial months in power, the group was slow in enforcing these restrictions, focussing mainly on tightening their grip on power across the country and attempting to gain legitimacy from the international community.

Large-scale crackdowns, including detentions and arrests of rights activists, in the months following their return to power, have helped the group rein in scattered democratic, peaceful protests in the different parts of the country. 

However, with over eight months in power and no recognition in sight, the Taliban now seems increasingly dominated by ultra-conservative factions within it, as several appeals from relatively moderate clerics, including those associated with the group, in favor of girls' education went unheeded.

BBC in its reports showed how inspectors from the Taliban’s moral policing ministry had now intensified patrolling around public spaces like malls, bazaars, and other places, enforcing their socially conservative codes.

“Enforcement starting relatively softly, but likely to get even stricter,” Karmani tweeted.

(SAM)

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