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Women barred from appearing on Afghan television by Taliban

Robert Besser
26 Nov 2021, 16:47 GMT+10

KABUL, Afghanistan: Under new rules imposed by the Taliban government, women have been banned from appearing on television dramas in Afghanistan.

Afghan television channels show primarily foreign dramas with many female characters.

Female journalists and presenters have also been ordered to wear headscarves when on screen.

The Taliban reclaimed power in Afghanistan in mid-August following the departure of U.S. and allied forces, and many fear they are gradually re-imposing harsh restrictions.

Upon returning to power, the militant Islamist group instructed girls and young women to abandon school and remain at home. In the 1990s, women were prohibited from taking part in education or work by the previous Taliban government.

The latest guidelines comprise eight new rules, including banning films considered to be against the principles of Sharia law and Afghan values.

Comedy and entertainment shows that insult religion or are considered offensive to Afghans are also not allowed to be televised, along with films promoting foreign cultural values.

Hujjatullah Mujaddedi, a member of an organisation that represents journalists in Afghanistan, told the BBC that some of the new rules were not practical and may force broadcasters to close.

The announcement of new restrictions was unexpected, he added.

The Taliban's earlier decision to order girls and young women to stay home from school made Afghanistan the only country in the world where half the population are banned from receiving an education.

In addition, the mayor of the capital, Kabul, told female municipal employees to stay at home unless their jobs could not be performed by a man.

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