India May 24(IM): The Taliban on Sunday began enforcing a new order requiring women TV anchors in Afghanistan to wear face coverings on air. The ruling was first announced on Thursday, May 19, but very few news stations complied with it then.
On Sunday, however, the Talibans Ministry of Vice and Virtue began enforcing the order. Women television presenters across leading channels like TOLOnews, Ariana Television, Shamshad TV and 1TV were seen in full hijabs and veils that left only their eyes uncovered.
This is among a slew of restrictive rulings that the Taliban has imposed on Afghanistans civil society, especially women and girls, since seizing power last year. Women presenters were previously only required to wear a headscarf.
Today, they have imposed a mask on us, but we will continue our struggle using our voice, Sonia Niazi, a presenter for TOLOnews, told AFP after presenting a bulletin.
I will never ever cry because of this order, but I will be the voice for other Afghan girls.
The ruling was an attempt to push women journalists in Afghanistan to quit their jobs, Niazi said.
According to the New York Post, a local media official confirmed on the condition of anonymity that his station had received the order last week, but was told Sunday that it was non negotiable.
Ministry spokesman Mohammad Akif Sadeq Mohajir said authorities appreciated that broadcasters had observed the dress code.
We are happy with the media channels that they implemented this responsibility in a good manner, he told AFP.
Mohajir said authorities were not against women presenters.
We have no intention of removing them from the public scene or sidelining them, or stripping them of their right to work, he said.
source : Moneycontrol