Male Afghan presenters cover faces in solidarity with female colleagues after restrictive Taliban ruling

Male Afghan presenters cover faces in solidarity with female colleagues after restrictive Taliban ruling
2 min read
25 May, 2022
Male Afghan presenters have covered their faces in a move of solidarity with their female colleagues, following the Taliban's controversial ruling that forces women appearing on air to wear face-covering veils.
All TOLONews presenters covered their faces in solidarity with women, according to the channel [Getty]

Male Afghan presenters have covered their faces with masks while broadcasting in solidarity with their female colleagues.

The move follows the Taliban government’s ruling that forces women presenters appearing on air to wear full hijabs and face covering veils, which only allow for their eyes to be seen.

The country’s Ministry for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice ordered female presenters to adhere to the ruling from Saturday, but women defied the order in protest for a day, before appearing on screens with their faces covered on Sunday.

“All TOLOnews presenters, in solidarity with women, cover [their] faces,” leading Afghan channel TOLOnews tweeted on Sunday.

Male presenter Idris Farooqi from Afghanistan's 1TV also wore a mask “in protest of the ban on female speakers”, the channel tweeted.

TOLOnews  director Khpolwak Sapai has been vocal about his stance with regards to the new ruling, telling AFP he was “forced” to make staff follow the order.

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The director took to Twitter and posted a selfie of him wearing a mask in a television studio with the hashtag #FreeHerFace, a movement calling for the autonomy of female presenters which journalists across the world have also participated in.

Following the Taliban’s ruling, the UN Security Council called on the hardline government to "swiftly reverse" policies restricting human rights and freedoms for Afghan women.

The Taliban seized power last year following a US withdrawal from the country, which has since seen them impose a slew of restrictions on civil society.