By Spy Uganda Correspondent
More than 60,000 women have lost their only source of income as beauty salons shut down in Afghanistan on Tuesday in yet another ban by the Taliban targeted at women, following restrictions on higher education and working for nonprofits.
“There are more than 13,000 women beauty salons (being shut down) and 60000 workers will lose their jobs,” Razmina, a member of the makeup artists association said.
According to the association, there were over 12,000 women-owned beauty salons registered with them for operating in the country – employing nearly 50,000 women – while around 10,000 women were estimated to be working in the sector without a license.
Just in Kabul, there are more than 3,200 licensed saloons that employed over 16,000 workers, who will be forced to fully cease operations, another association member, Mahra, said.
“This is a really harsh decision,” she said, adding that tens of thousands of women and girls would lose their only source of income.
The decision to ban beauty salons is an existential threat for Afghan women and thousands of women-led families in the country.
“Women were already deprived of a lot of livelihood fields. The owners of the beauty salons are family heads, and the only income source of the family, We request the Taliban government to not take bread from our table. Taking the only means of survival is taking our life from us,” Mahra said.
Afghan women have already lost a significant portion of their sources of income as well as basic rights such as education since the Taliban seized power in August 2021.
Since then, Afghan women’s rights have drastically diminished due to multiple restrictions being imposed one after the other, such as gender segregation in public places, the imposition of the burqa and the requirement to be accompanied by a male relative on long-distance journeys.
In December, the hardliners banned women from studying in universities and working in non-governmental organizations, an order that followed the long-standing ban on girls’ secondary education, imposed since the group’s return to power.