Taliban Rules Return for Afghan Women

Afghan women presenters (credit: mcgill.ca)

KABUL: Afghanistan has instructed women TV presenters to stop appearing without a headscarf and to wear less make-up, officials said, raising fears about creeping restrictions on the fledgling media.

“All the TV networks are in seriousness asked to stop women presenters from appearing on TV without a veil and with dense make-up,” the information and culture ministry said. “All women newscasters on Afghan TV channels are also asked to respect Islamic and Afghan values,” it added.

A spokesperson for President Hamid Karzai told AFP on Tuesday that the ministry took the decision after coming under pressure from the Ulema council, the country’s highest religious body of Islamic scholars.

Afghan media, essentially non-existent under the 1996 to 2001 Taliban regime, have enjoyed considerable freedom, with more than two dozen TV stations springing up in the decade since the 2001 US-led invasion.

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