The Taliban has issued its latest restrictions against women, this time greatly restricting women in the media, both in journalism and entertainment.
Journalists and activists in Afghanistan and across the world have condemned these latest “religious guidelines.” The Taliban’s Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice banned broadcasters from showing dramas and soap operas that feature female actors, as well as screening any films or television programs that could be considered “against Islamic or Afghan values.”
Women working in television journalists have been told they now must wear a hijab at work as well.
In Afghanistan, Zan TV was the first channel to be staffed only by female producers and reporters. The groundbreaking channel has tweeted out that these new restrictions are a direct threat to media freedom, and will greatly reduce the presence of women in journalism.
Three months ago, the Taliban came into power in Afghanistan. Women’s rights have been hacked away at since then. Many women have been forced out of work, especially women in positions of government or law.
This regulation of the media is the latest in its attempt to roll back women’s rights, which was feared both in Afghanistan and abroad when the Taliban took power.
The rules come only days after a media spokesperson for the Taliban prime minister accused the country’s media of propaganda for the “enemy,” and that they should be treated harshly for their actions.
Female journalists in exile were quick to speak out, saying that women in media will be threatened by the rules and that it is the first step towards banning media completely.
When the Taliban held power in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, there was no media whatsoever. Television, films, and most forms of entertainment were completely banned, and labeled as being immoral. Activists warn that these are the warning signs that the Taliban is stepping towards this reality once again.