Dozens of Afghans were dispersed with water cannons as they demonstrated in Kabul on Wednesday against the Taliban government’s decision to close beauty salons.
Since their return to power in August 2021, the Muslim fundamentalist Taliban have excluded women from most secondary schools, universities and public administration.
Women are also not allowed to work for international organizations, access parks, gardens, gyms or public toilets or travel without being accompanied by a male relative. They must also fully cover themselves when leaving home.
The decision to close beauty salons, announced by decree at the end of June, will cause the disappearance of thousands of businesses run by women. These establishments are often the only resource for their families and constitute one of the last spaces of freedom and socialization for Afghans.
“Don’t take away my bread and water,” read the banner of one of the protesters on Butcher Street, a street in the capital where many beauty salons are located.