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Afghan male TV presenters wear masks in support of their female counterparts

Afghan male TV presenters wear masks in support of their female counterparts

After the Taliban forced women TV presenters to cover their faces on-air, male newsreaders appeared on screen wearing masks in support of their colleagues. A diktat was issued by Afghanistan's supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada ordering women to fully cover up in public, ideally with a traditional burqa.

The feared Ministry for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice on Saturday asked women television presenters and reporters to cover their faces. Female newsreaders defied the order and appeared in their usual attires.

The next day the Taliban regime forced the channels to either fire women who don't follow the dress code or move them to a different role. Male guardians of women who do not cover their faces in public will be punished.

On Sunday, women newsreaders appeared on-air covering their faces and complying with the Taliban order. Sonia Niazi, a presenter on local TV station Tolo News, said her employer was compelled by the government.

After the threats forced their women colleagues, male TV presenters showed solidarity. Presenters and journalists at Tolo News in Kabul confirmed the move is in solidarity with the female presenters, reported Daily Mail.

Mohammad Sadeq Akif Mohajir, spokesman for the Taliban's Ministry for the Advancement of Welfare and Vice Prevention, said the regime is not concerned by the protest of male TV presenters. They expressed satisfaction in women "fulfilling their obligations as specified by the ruling".

As per the Taliban order, women working for the government are also at risk of dismissal if they do not comply with the dress code. Male employees are also at the same risk if their wives or daughters do not follow the order.

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