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Taliban force women TV hosts to cover their faces on air

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Taliban force women TV hosts to cover their faces on air
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Women anchors on leading Afghan TV news channels were seen with covered faces on Sunday. After the order was issued, they defied the ruling government yesterday and went on air without concealing their faces.

It is the latest restriction placed on women since the Taliban took power last year. The civil society of Afghanistan is being forced to comply with the Taliban's interpretation of Islam. Last month, women were ordered to cover up fully in public.

The Ministry for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice asked women TV hosts to cover their entire bodies on Saturday. After disregarding the order, they were today seen wearing full hijabs and face-covering veils that left only their eyes in view. They presented morning news bulletins on leading channels like TOLOnews, Ariana Television, Shamshad TV, and 1TV, reported AFP.

Ministry spokesman Mohammad Akif Sadeq Mohajir said the Taliban has no intention of removing women from the public scene or stripping them of their right to work. "We are happy with the channels that implemented their responsibility in a good manner."

The news channels were pressured to remove any female hosts who appeared on screen without covering their faces. They are either to be dismissed or given some other job in the company. TV channels are also forbidden to broadcast shows featuring women.

The Taliban government has ordered to fire women government employees if they fail to follow the new dress code. Male employees are also at risk if their wives or daughters fail to comply with the new decree. Similarly, media managers and guardians of female TV presenters and reporters are also responsible for their defiance.

After the Taliban was removed from power in 2001, most Afghan women were only wearing headscarves and not covering their faces. Women were making progress in terms of education, career, and personal liberties. However, the new government has banned women from travelling alone and going to secondary schools despite making promises to uphold women's rights.

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