Afghan male anchors show solidarity with their female opponents wearing masks on camera after the Taliban issued an order forcing all women to cover their faces on news channels.
Taliban forces as female anchors #Afghanistan Afghan male TV presenters also cover their faces in solidarity with their female colleagues, as they say, to cover their faces “for the implementation of Sharia.” #FreeHerFacepic.twitter.com/r9x86EEO2X
– Hasan Sajwani Hasan Sajwani (SHSajwanization) May 23, 2022
The protest, which used the hashtag #FreeHerFace on social media, gained momentum as men on Channel Tolo News wore masks to impersonate their female colleagues who were forced to wear face veils.
To show solidarity with their female colleagues, Afghan male anchors wore masks. pic.twitter.com/W782gWEapm
– Fazal Afghan ????????? (fhzadran) May 22, 2022
Since taking power last year, the Taliban have imposed a number of restrictions on civil society, with many emphasizing the rights of women and girls to adhere to the strict brand of Islam.
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Ethics and the Prevention of Sin directed women to wear the full hijab and burqa, which covers only their eyes. The female anchors tried to disobey the order but in the end had to bow to the pressure of various TV networks.
Sahar Fetrat, an Afghan feminist activist working for Human Rights Watch Guardian, “Male journalists are wearing masks. This is a great job. This is one of the few examples where Afghan men are doing something symbolic because so far all the resistance and protest against the veil has been by women.
“The question is will they wear hijab? If they are told, will they cover themselves with burqas? But how far will it go? Wearing a burqa all over the country? And what do we do with that anger and emotion? Where does it take us? These are important questions. “
After the fall of the Taliban government after the US-led invasion in 2001, women in Afghanistan ran for jobs and education, an effort that was banned for them under Taliban rule at the time.
The Taliban have said they have changed since their last regime, but have recently added regulations such as restricting the movement of women without a male chaperone. Girls over the age of 13 are also not allowed to return to school or college.