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Afghanistan: Ban on Women's beauty salons comes into effect

Kabul [Afghanistan], July 26 (ANI): Amid public protests and UN concern, the ban on women's beauty salons in Afghanistan came into effect on Tuesday following the deadline given by the Ministry of Vice and Virtue on July 4, reported TOLO News.

Taliban, in a new verbal decree, banned women's beauty salons in Kabul and other provinces across the country.

According to the order, women's beauty parlours in Afghanistan were no longer allowed to operate after July 23, according to Khaama Press.

The United Nations said that the forced closure of women's beauty salons could have a negative impact on the economy of women. The Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General Farhan Haq also asked the Taliban authorities to halt the mandate of closing beauty salons, TOLO News reported.

"The Secretary-General supports the efforts by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), which has called on the de facto authorities to halt the edict closing beauty salons. UNAMA has said that this restriction on women's rights will impact negatively on the economy and contradicts support for women's entrepreneurship, and we're seeking a reversal of the bans," Haq added.

Meanwhile, beauty salon owners said that some of the women are the breadwinners for their families. Following the ban, they would not be able to support their families, TOLO News reported.

Mastora, a beauty salon owner said that over ten other women in her salon financially support their families.

"This shop is the sole means through which ten people support their families and are breadwinners of their families. They all come here because of problems," said Mastora. Huma, another beauty salon owner said, "Today they took our bread and our work from us. We are very upset."Days after the Taliban issued the decree, several women makeup artists protested against the move, urging that the order be rescinded, Tolo News reported.

According to the spokesperson of Kabul Municipality Nematullah Barakzai, women's beauty salons' business licenses will be invalid after the third of Asad (solar calendar) and they will not be permitted to operate until the following order, according to TOLO News.

"After the third of Asad, these licenses will no longer be valid. In Kabul, only those classes are allowed to operate that have licenses," Barakzai said.

There are over 12,000 women's beauty salons across the country, with an average of 5 women employed by each. There are 3,100 women-only beauty salons in Kabul.