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Watch: Female mannequins beheaded in Afghanistan

As per Afghan media, the director of the local ministry said that even looking at the face of a female mannequin is against Sharia law. Those who ignore the order face severe punishments warned the local department of the ministry. 

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Shopkeepers in Afghanistan have begun removing the heads of female mannequins. The shocking move came after the Taliban’s recent orders for shopkeepers.

Two days ago, the Taliban ordered Afghan shopkeepers to behead mannequins, describing them as “idols” forbidden by Islam. According to reports, the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice gave the directives.

As per Afghan media, the director of the local ministry said that even looking at the face of a female mannequin is against Sharia law. Those who ignore the order face severe punishments warned the local department of the ministry.

Read more: Women rights in the prism of history in Afghanistan

As a result, shopkeepers have begun beheading mannequins. Unsettling videos of Afghan shopkeepers sawing off mannequin heads made the rounds on social media. The shopkeepers lamented that this move will cause them a huge loss as each mannequin costs about $200.

Ever since the Taliban took over Afghanistan, they have been implementing a “softer version” of their brutal and repressive 1990’s regime. However, women are once again facing restrictions.

Restrictions on women

Recently, the Taliban issued a new decree preventing women from undertaking long-distance travel alone. The same ministry stated that women should travel with a male guardian if they are travelling for more than 72km. The Ministry of Virtue also ordered transporters and vehicle owners to refuse rides to women not wearing headscarves, or travelling alone.

“Women traveling for more than 72km (45 miles) should not be offered a ride if they are not accompanied by a close family member,” ministry spokesman Sadeq Akif Muhajir said, specifying that the companion must be male.

The Taliban also asked Afghanistan’s television channels to stop showing dramas and soap operas featuring female actors. Furthermore, female journalists should wear the hijab while appearing on news channels.

Read more: Taliban stop shows with women actors

While the Taliban have not issued a formal policy outright banning women from working, directives by individual officials have amounted to their exclusion from the workplace. Many Afghan women fear they will never find meaningful employment.