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Female News Anchors in Afghanistan Go on Air With Faces Covered
A female presenter for Tolo News, Sonia Niazi, covers her face in a live broadcast at Tolo TV station in Kabul on May 22, 2022, a day after a Taliban order took effect to conceal their appearance on television. (Wakil Kohsar/AFP via Getty Images)

Female News Anchors in Afghanistan Go on Air With Faces Covered

Female news anchors in Afghanistan appeared on air on Sunday with their faces covered. Earlier this month, the Ministry of Virtue and Prevention of Vice of the Taliban government ordered Muslim women in Afghanistan to be covered from head to toe, including their faces, framing the order as a requirement of the Quran, Allah, and the Prophet Muhammad.

The women news anchors had appeared on Saturday with their faces visible, despite the order taking effect that day but followed the order on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the US Special Representative on Afghanistan Thomas West met on Saturday in Qatar with the Taliban government’s foreign minister, Amir Khan Mutaqi. West tweeted that he “Conveyed unified int’l opposition to ongoing and expanding restrictions on women and girls’ rights and role in society. Girls must be back in school, women free to move & work w/o restrictions for progress to normalized relations.”

The requirement that women completely cover themselves comes after the Taliban has refused to reopen schools and universities to girls and women, and after it decreed that women can only travel with a male guardian. The last time the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, in the 1990s, women also were required to wear head-to-toe covering.

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