Under new Taliban rules, women are forbidden from being in Afghanistan’s TV dramas.

  • Taliban banned the broadcast of any TV drama starring women 
  • Although it is not known which type of Islamic hijab, female reporters must have the ‘Islamic’ kind.   
  • Ministry of Vice and Virtue issues new rules regarding TV programming
  • Shows that promote foreign values, insult religion, or mock Afghans are also banned 

Women have been banned from appearing in Afghan TV dramas and female news readers told to wear ‘Islamic hijabs’ under repressive new Taliban laws.

The Ministry of Vice and Virtue in Afghanistan has imposed a ban on all television dramas which feature female characters. 

News readers for women – already required to have headscarves on – now must wear “Islamic hijabs” according to the added rules, but without clarifying what this means.

This is the latest act of repression by Taliban against women’s rights since Islamists took control in August. It further undercuts the Islamists claims that they have been reforming and becoming more moderate. 

All TV dramas featuring women have been banned in Afghanistan while female news readers have been told to wear 'Islamic hijabs', despite already wearing headscarves (pictured)

Afghanistan has banned all TV shows featuring women. Female news reporters have been instructed to wear “Islamic hijabs” despite wearing headcarves.

These laws are contained in the new rulebook of the Ministry of Vice and Virtue. This ministry was under Taliban control and charged with the strict interpretation of Sharia. Its purpose is to make sure that all media supports ‘Islamic and Afghan values.

The rules stated that “those dramas…or programs in which women have acted” should be avoided.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) criticized the move, stating that media freedom in Pakistan was declining.

Patricia Gossman (associate Asia director of HRW), stated in a statement that ‘the disappearance or worsening restrictions for females in the media, arts and media is devastating.

Another rule set by the Ministry is a ban of foreign movies that promote ‘foreign culture values’.

All programmes that violate Sharia or are deemed offensive to Afghans or religions is outlawed.

The footage of men exposed ‘intimate’ body parts is outlawed as well, but it will not be clear which body parts are deemed ‘intimate.

This is the latest act of repression against women in Afghanistan who were kept at home since the Taliban took over the country.

The ban on women in TV shows comes after all women were confined to their homes and told not to return to their jobs unless they cannot be done by a man (file image)

After all the women who were held captive in their own homes were told that they could not do their jobs by men, the ban on women appearing on TV comes as a result. File image

Girls are now forbidden from school and women told not to go back to work until they can be replaced by men.

While the Taliban claims that these measures will be temporary, until they are able to ensure women’s safety, it has not been reassuring for observers and those inside the country.

Taliban governors have also banned female sport, with members of the Afghan women’s volleyball saying they have been forced into hiding after being threatened.

An anonymous captain of the volleyball team suggested last month that one player had been killed.

Afghanistan was ruled for over two decades by an international-backed government. It received trillions in aid payments, and this year, the Taliban took control of Afghanistan.

Within weeks the government and all armed forces were destroyed, with Taliban taking control of Kabul almost unassisted.

It was amazing to see how fast the military took over. The militants are still trying to figure out the best way to govern the country and address the many issues that face it. 

It is clear that the Afghan economy has collapsed to near its totality, causing widespread poverty and skyrocketing food prices. The World Food Program warns that up to 90% of Afghans will need humanitarian aid in the coming winter.

Many people have fled the country to escape Taliban rule. This has triggered a refugee crisis that spreads to Europe.

Regional rivals are also threatening security for the Taliban, as ISISK (the terror group’s Afghan branch) launches suicide attacks against mosques to try and destabilise their fragile regime.