Afghan newsmen stand in solidarity with women colleagues

Kabul: Male newsreaders have been wearing masks on Afghan TV to protest a new Taliban ruling forcing women to cover their faces on air.

Earlier this month, Afghanistan’s supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada issued a diktat for women to cover up fully in public, including their faces, ideally with the traditional burqa.

The feared Ministry for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice then ordered women television presenters to follow suit, Daily Mail reported. Some refused to comply prompting a crackdown by officials.

But after dissidents were threatened with dismissal, male colleagues showed solidarity by also covering their faces, Daily Mail reported. After this threat, women who refused to comply were told that their husbands would also lose their jobs.

Presenters and journalists at Tolo News in Kabul who wore masks confirmed it was in solidarity with the female presenters. Sonia Niazi, a presenter on local TV station Tolo News, appeared on her show wearing a full-face veil but hit out at the move.

The crackdown is the latest move by the Taliban to enforce fundamentalist Islam, where all women in public must be completely covered with a full-face veil including a cloth at eye level.

Taliban also banned TV shows, films, and soaps where women appeared unveiled, Daily Mail reported. It also ordered the dismissal of women working in government if they did not comply with the new dress code.

Image courtesy of (Photo courtesy:

Share this post