Women in Afghanistan have held a rare protest against the Taliban’s decision to shut female beauty parlours and salons.
Women shouted “work, bread and justice” while they were gathered in the capital city, Kabul.
Taliban guards responded with water cannons, and some protesters said stun guns were also used against them.
Women’s rights have been increasingly restricted since Taliban rulers returned to power in 2021.
Around 50 women took part in the protest on Wednesday, according to AFP news agency.
The Taliban have given businesses one month from 2 July to close thousands of beauty salons across the country.
They said the wearing of wigs and the practice of eyebrow-plucking were against Islamic values and parents were wasting money on beauty parlours when couples get married.
The decision further restricts the spaces accessible to Afghan women, who are already barred from classrooms, gyms and parks. More recently, the Taliban also banned them from working for the United Nations.
The closure of all beauty salons will lead to the loss of 60,000 jobs, Afghanistan’s chamber of commerce said.
Beauty salons were last shut when the Taliban ruled between 1996 and 2001. They stayed open after the Taliban retook power two years ago following the withdrawal of US forces, but shop windows were often covered up and images of women outside salons were spray painted to hide their faces.
The Taliban’s restrictions on women, which include strict dress codes and limits to them travelling alone, have continued despite international condemnation.
There have been minor sporadic protests against measures introduced by the Taliban, but any form of dissent is being crushed.
Source : BBC