Women will be banned from appearing in television dramas in Afghanistan under new Taliban media restrictions in the latest setback in women’s freedom since the militant group took power three months ago.
All dramas, soap operas and entertainment programs featuring women are banned, according to government guidelines released to the broadcasters on Sunday.
The country’s Ministry of Propagating Virtue and Preventing Vice has issued eight guidelines on what can be aired, the first such restrictions being imposed on the country’s media network.
Among the guidelines, news anchors must now wear onscreen headscarves. Likewise, the men on the screen must wear “appropriate clothing”, although the guidelines do not specify which types of clothing are considered “appropriate”.
The ministry added that films in opposition to Islamic law and Afghan values should not be broadcast, nor foreign and domestic films that “promote foreign culture and values”.
The rules also state that entertainment and comedy programs “should not be based on insulting others” nor “to insult human dignity and Islamic values”.
Finally, TV shows portraying “prophets and fellows” should not be broadcast, he said.
In the previous Taliban government – which was in power from 1996 to 2001 – television was banned, as were most other forms of media.
Monday’s new tough media rules come despite promises by the Taliban that they would be more moderate in exercising power this time around.
The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in mid-August, when the United States and Western Allies withdrew their forces. Women and girls were quickly instructed not to go to work and school, and restrictions on television appearances further limit women’s freedom under the new regime.
When a group of women protested the all-male government’s announcement in Kabul in September, Taliban fighters beat them with whips and sticks.
In October, the CNN spoke with women in Kabul who were returning to public spaces after remaining indoors during the first uncertain weeks of the Taliban regime.
But the latest Taliban decision in the media shows that women’s presence in public life is still precarious.
* (Translated text. Click here to read the original).
Reference: CNN Brasil