Afghanistan’s Taliban-led government has ordered beauty salons in Kabul and surrounding provinces run by women to shut shop after July 23, 2023. This was the country’s most recent round of restrictions that have been imposed on women. It deprives women of their employment rights, affecting livelihoods to a great extent.

Mohammad Sadeq Akif Muhajir, the ministry’s spokesperson warned the citizens that the violators of this newly passed law will face strict legal action. Similar restrictions were imposed by the Taliban when they were in power in 1996 and 2001. After the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan, the beauty salons were re-opened. Over the last decade, Kabul and other Afghan cities were home to hundreds of beauty salons.

The recent ban on women-run beauty parlours is followed by the restriction of girls going to schools, gyms, parks and swimming pools. Other restrictions for Taliban women include ban from working in the United Nations, strict dress code. Under the Taliban regime, it is now mandatory for a Taliban women to travel or move around accompanied by a male relative.

The Secretary-General of UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), stated that these restrictions on women’s rights will negatively impact the country’s economy and goes against women’s entrepreneurship. The UN is seeking reversal of these bans. Despite these international condemnation and protests by activists, these restrictions are still in place in Afghanistan.