Afghan Male News Presenters Wear Masks To Protest Taliban’s Face-Cover Order For Female Colleagues

Male presenters and reporters on TV channels in Afghanistan went on air with their faces covered in solidarity with their female colleagues after the Taliban ordered them to cover their faces.

Taliban’s Vice and Virtue Ministry has made face veils mandatory for all Afghan women appearing in public as well as those on television.

Soon after the announcement, most of the female presenters and anchors were seen with their faces covered.

Meanwhile, all male presenters in TOLONews, a local TV channel also appeared on air wearing masks in solidarity with their female colleagues.

TOLOnews’ Director, Khpolwak Sapai said they had been given a deadline till Sunday and they were compelled to follow the instructions.

“We were asked to implement this (decision) and we did it since Sunday, but there was no clear indication that female presenters should cover their faces in the recent decree issued by the Islamic Emirate’s leadership about Hijab,” Sapai questioned.

Sonia Nizai, a female presenter of TOLOnews, said running TV programs for three to four hours with a mask is very difficult.

After seizing power in August of 2021 after withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban have increasingly imposed restrictions on women’s lives in recent weeks, and already banned girls from going to schools after the sixth grade.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Vice and Virtue, Akif Mahajar said that “covering face is a part of Hijab and this is not the Taliban’s word but it is an order of God.”

The Taliban also restricted women’s movement, barring them from making longer journeys without a male guardian and also assigned separate days for them to visit public parks.

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