Afghan Hair and Beauty Salons Forced to Close.

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Taliban Orders Closure, Resulting in Job Losses

In Afghanistan, hair and beauty salons are facing closure following orders from the Taliban, leading to an estimated loss of 60,000 jobs. Since the Taliban regained control of the country two years ago, salons had been allowed to operate, but the recent decision reversed that permission. The closure further limits spaces accessible to Afghan women, who are already restricted from classrooms, gyms, and parks due to the Taliban’s conservative policies.

Loss of Freedom and Livelihoods

The closure of salons has deeply affected women’s lives in Afghanistan. Zarmina, a 23-year-old mother of two from Kandahar, recalls the shock and tears that followed the news of the approaching closures when she was getting her hair dyed. For many women, the beauty salon provided a rare sense of freedom and friendship. However, the economic crisis since the Taliban’s takeover has gradually shrunk women’s freedoms, with discussions now revolving around unemployment, discrimination, and poverty.

Impact on Marital Relations and Mental Well-being

For women like Madina from Kabul, beauty salons have not only been a means of self-expression but also played a vital role in keeping their marriages fresh. The ability to experiment with hair colors and styles brought joy to her life, despite her ambition to become a lawyer being thwarted by the Taliban’s ban on women attending university. Many women see beauty salons as a form of therapy and a space to share life stories. The loss of this sanctuary has added to the fear and uncertainty permeating Afghan society under Taliban rule.

Restoring Confidence and Sense of Self

Somaya, a 27-year-old mental health counselor from Mazar-i-Sharif, found solace in a beauty salon after suffering burns to her face. The salon’s micro-blading treatment helped restore her sense of self, and it became a place to heal and hide sorrows during times of hardship. The closures have not only deprived Afghan women of their livelihoods but also taken away spaces where they felt empowered and hopeful.

Uncertain Future for Afghan Women

As beauty salons close their doors, Afghan women face an uncertain future under Taliban rule. The closures symbolize a broader erosion of women’s rights and freedoms, leaving many feeling marginalized and powerless. The loss of these spaces not only affects their economic well-being but also takes away opportunities for self-expression, camaraderie, and healing. The closure of hair and beauty salons represents another significant step in the Taliban’s attempt to assert control over Afghan society and suppress the rights and aspirations of Afghan women.

SOURCE: Ref Image from Mint

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