The Guardian reported on July 4 that the morality ministry said in the latest shrinking of access to public places for Afghan women that the Taliban administration in Afghanistan orders beauty salons to shut down. 

“The deadline for the closing of beauty parlous for women is one month,” Mohammad Sadiq Akif, a spokesman for the Ministry for the Prevention of Vice and Propagation of Virtue was cited as saying on Tuesday, referring to a ministry notice. 

Foreign governments and United Nations officials have condemned growing restrictions on women since the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan in 2021 after defeating a US-backed government as foreign forces withdrew. 

More recently, the administration reportedly also moved to block women from working for the United Nations in Afghanistan.

The Taliban last demanded the shutdown of beauty and hair salons during its first rule over Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001.

But, the beauty parlours reopened in late 2001 after the regime was forced out of power following the September 11 attacks on the United States.

The BBC notes that the Taliban administration has not revealed what prompted the latest restriction or when parlours will be able to reopen.

Windows and doors are often completely covered at hair and beauty salons in Afghanistan so customers and workers cannot be seen from outside.

The government's ban and tight restrictions have come under fire from many people across the globe as well as women within the country.

Speaking to the BBC, an Afghan woman, who has remained anonymous, said the Taliban was "taking away the most basic human rights" from women in the country.  "They are violating women's rights," she said.

"By this decision, they are now depriving women from serving another women. When I heard the news, I was completely shocked.

"It seems the Taliban do not have any political plan other than focusing on women's bodies. They are trying to eliminate women at every level of public life."

Recall, the Taliban in August 2021 ordered gender-segregated classrooms in universities, but boys were allowed to return to school a few months later in September.

The strict measure prohibited many teenage girls from attending secondary school.

In May last year, Afghan women were also ordered to wear full-body coverings while in public.

photo / AP

The Taliban has previously stated that it vows to respect women's rights within Islamic law and Afghan customs.  Despite the Taliban's initial promise of a more moderate rule than their previous rise to power in the 1990s, they continue to impose harsh measures since its takeover in August 2021.