Over 60,000 women will lose their jobs due to the closing of all women’s beauty parlours and hairdressing salons across Afghanistan.
Sources in the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry have told the BBC that closing all women’s beauty parlours/hairdressing salons will leave around 60,000 women unemployed nationwide.
The source said on the condition of anonymity that there are 3,100 women’s beauty salons in Kabul and over 12,000 women’s hair salons across the country, each having an average of five women employment. These women are only the breadwinners of their families.
On Tuesday, 4 July, the Taliban announced they would ban women’s beauty salons in Afghanistan.
The Taliban-ruled government in the country has ordered to shut down the beauty salons within a month, according to the moral ministry of the Taliban. This is the latest restriction on Afghanistan’s access to public spaces.
“The deadline for the closing of beauty parlours for women is one month,” Mohammad Sadiq Akif, a spokesperson for the Ministry for the Prevention of Vice and Propagation of Virtue, said on Tuesday, referring to a ministry notice.
The ministry also gave the Kabul municipality instructions to revoke the licenses of women’s beauty salons and implement the Taliban leader’s latest decision.
One beauty parlour owner had said that after her husband passed away in a 2017 vehicle bombing, she was the family’s sole provider. She didn’t want her name or salon mentioned for fear of retaliation.
“Day by day, they (the Taliban) are imposing limitations on women,” she told The Associated Press. “Why are they only targeting women? Aren’t we human? Don’t we have the right to work or live?”
Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan, they have released over 50 decrees that barred women’s rights, including attending secondary high schools and banning women from attending universities and public spaces.
Meanwhile, the Taliban has banned women from working with humanitarian agencies amid the country’s dire humanitarian crisis and malnutrition.
This comes days after the Taliban supreme leader Akhundzada claimed that his government has made the necessary decisions to improve Afghan women’s lives.
The recent decision by the Taliban was confronted with massive criticism by social activists and human rights defenders, including international organizations.
On Tuesday, the United Nations added that it negotiated with Afghan authorities to lift the ban on beauty parlours. UNAMA, the U.N. mission in Afghanistan, tweeted a request to the Taliban to halt the decree.
“This new restriction on women’s rights will impact negatively on the economy and contradicts stated support for women entrepreneurship,” it said.