KABUL — The Taliban administration in Afghanistan has ordered the closure of beauty salons within a month, the morality ministry said, in the latest curtailment of access to public places for Afghan women.
“The deadline for the closure of beauty salons for women is one month,” Mohammad Sadiq Akif, spokesman for the Ministry for the Prevention of Vice and Propagation of Virtue, said on Tuesday, referring to a ministry notice.
Foreign governments and UN officials have condemned increasing restrictions on women since the Taliban returned to power in 2021 after defeating a US-backed government as foreign forces withdrew.
Last year, the authorities closed most secondary schools for girls, barred women from university and prevented many Afghan aid workers from working. Many public places, including bathrooms, gyms, and parks, have been closed to women.
Beauty salons sprang up in Kabul and other Afghan cities in the months after the Taliban were ousted from power in late 2001, weeks after the 9/11 attacks on the United States.
Many remained open after the Islamists returned to power two years ago, but with their signs and windows covered, providing work for some women and services for their clients.
The Western government and international organizations have pointed out that the restrictions on women are hampering any possible progress towards international recognition of the Taliban administration.
The administration says it respects women’s rights in accordance with its interpretation of Islamic law and Afghan customs.