Male anchors mask up on air after Taliban decree for female news readers
Our endeavour to pursue free and fair journalism is possible only when we are both
Afghanistan’s new rulers are now closing in on the people of the country. What began as a physical invasion and a sweep to power now has bearings on the everyday lives of Afghans, especially Afghan women.
The country’s Vice and Virtue Ministry, in its latest clampdown on women’s freedom, has made it mandatory for female news presenters to cover their faces on air. The new mandate, when it first came in last week, saw sparse compliance, which made the ruling group enforce it last evening.
Soon, the men in the rooms began covering their faces. Suited and not a hair out of place, the male anchors were breaking stories on air but with masks on their faces.
Also Read: | Afghanistan’s Taliban order women to cover up head to toe
In no time, Twitter was abuzz with the newest hashtag: #Freeherface, with journalists, men and women, Afghans and from all over the world, posting masked-up photos of them.
Earlier this month, the Taliban ordered all women to be covered from head to toe while out in public and to wear clothes in which only the eyes are visible. According to the draconian decree, women could leave their homes only when necessary and listed punishments for male relatives if a woman violated the dress code. Men can even be jailed if the women refuse to comply.
During the Taliban’s previous tenure in power in Afghanistan, they had imposed overwhelming restrictions on women, denying them education and barring them from public life, among other limitations.