Since taking over, the Taliban have imposed a number of restrictions on Afghan girls and women, including barring them from education, public spaces and employment. The closure of beauty salons is the latest restriction.
A spokesman for the Taliban-run Virtue and Vice Ministry, Mohammad Sidik Akif Mahajar, did not give details of the ban.
The letter, dated June 24, issued by the ministry, cites a number of orders from religious leader Hibatullah Akhundzada.
According to the orders, the beauty salon ban covers all provinces and gives beauty salons across the country one month to liquidate their businesses. After that time, they must be shut down and submit a report on their closure. The letter does not specify the grounds for the ban.
It was issued days after Akhundzada claimed that his government was taking the necessary steps to improve the lives of women in Afghanistan.
The Taliban government, which has always been in the spotlight for its bans on women, has drawn criticism from women's and human rights advocates on social media for its new decision.
On Tuesday, the United Nations (UN) said it was in talks with Taliban officials to reverse the ban on beauty salons. The new restriction on women's rights would negatively impact the economy and contradict support for women's entrepreneurship.
Despite promises of a more moderate rule than during previous periods of rule in the 1990s, the Taliban have taken harsh measures since taking over Afghanistan in August 2021 as US and NATO forces withdrew.
They have banned women from public spaces such as parks and gyms and restricted media freedoms. The measures have triggered a violent international uproar, increasing the country's isolation at a time when its economy is collapsing and exacerbating a humanitarian crisis.
Source: npr - AP