Taliban restrictions ban shows with female actors

It has been 100 days since the Taliban toppled Afghanistan’s Western-backed government and swept to power.

And since then, Taliban officials have sought to publicly assure women and the international community that women's rights will be protected - despite widespread skepticism.

But on Tuesday (November 23) the administration released a set of restrictions on Afghan media, with some edicts targeted specifically at women.

The Ministry of Vice and Virtue announced nine rules...

Rules largely centered on banning any media that contravenes "Islamic or Afghan values."

Including banning television dramas that included female actors.

And ordering women news presenters to wear "Islamic hijab" - a term women's rights activists say is vague and could be interpreted conservatively.

The rules drew criticism from international rights watchdog Human Rights Watch, which said media freedom was deteriorating in the country.

Associate Asia Director Patricia Gossman said the "disappearance of any space for dissent and worsening restrictions for women in the media and arts is devastating".

During the Taliban's previous rule, strict curbs were placed on women's ability to leave the house, unless accompanied by a male relative, or to receive education.

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