By: Edele Deneke, Love (Aksara) H. Dunn, Ryan Jakhadi
Female presenters and reporters on Afghanistan TV channels and networks went on air with covered faces on Sunday, in line with a Taliban order. The day before, some presenters defied the edict and kept their faces visible, but those who resisted came under pressure from their networks and possible threats of violence.
After taking power last year after President Biden pulled forces from the country, the Taliban have increasingly imposed restrictions on women's behavior, clothing choice, education, and professions. The most recent being the mandate for all women to cover their faces while in public.
Wearing hijabs and face coverings, women fulfilled their jobs on news bulletins and other programs on channels such as TOLOnews, Ariana Television, Shamshad TV, and 1TV, complying with the new mandate. Others who still refused have not been on such channels.
A TOLOnews presenter named Farida Sial commented to the BCC: "It's OK that we are Muslims, we are wearing hijab, we hide our hair, but it's very difficult for a presenter to cover their face for two or three hours consecutively and talk like that."