Female TV Hosts Defy Taliban By Not Covering Face While Broadcasting

In Afghanistan, female TV broadcasters defied a recent order from the Taliban that required them to cover themselves, in accordance with Islamic law, by appearing on-air without face coverings.

This action was taken in direct defiance of the order.

The Taliban government reacted angrily after women on three separate broadcast channels declined to hide their faces all through their live programs on Saturday. 

Warnings and Fears

The Taliban government admonished the women that they risked being terminated from their outlets if they did not cover their faces.

Taliban officials have stated media managers who were responsible for enforcing the order, but did not do so, may also face sanctions.

According to a statement sent to Agence France-Presse by a spokeswoman named Mohammad Sadeq Akif Mohajir: “If they do not comply, we will talk to the management and guardians of the broadcasters.”

“Anyone who lives under a specific system and society is required to obey the laws and commands of that system. In order to do so, they are required to carry out the order.”

According to the television outlets, the ladies refused to wear face covers because they felt doing so would be the first step toward ultimately surrendering their right to work.

According to Abid Ehsas, the head of Shamshad TV, who spoke to the outlet: “Our female colleagues are scared if they conceal their faces, the next thing they will be told to stop working.”

“It is for this reason they have not complied with the order up to this point.”

Order by the Taliban

This week, the Taliban broadcast an order requiring women to cover their faces in public, signaling yet another step backward for women’s rights since the group took control of the government in August of last year. 

This rule is in keeping with other regulations that apply to female government employees, such as the need to cover their faces and threat of termination if they are caught breaking the dress code.

Men who work for the government will also face the consequences if their wives or daughters don’t follow the rules. In the past, the only thing that used to be required of female presenters on TV was to wear headscarves.

The measure constitutes the most recent social restriction that the Taliban enacted against women, despite earlier assertions they would take a “more lenient” approach to applying Islamic law.

The United States withdrew its forces from Afghanistan at the end of August 2021. This was approximately the same time the Taliban ousted the government that was supported by the United States and led by President Ashraf Ghani.

In the two weeks that followed, western nations led a large-scale effort to evacuate people from the country; as a result, more than 100,000 individuals were taken out of the country.