Latest World News: Taliban makeover: Afghan women despair of a beauty salon b

KABUL: Shirin booked her makeover a few weeks ago, but instead of relaxing while the beauticians pampered her, everyone in the Kabul salon was nervous, ready to hide the bride if the police showed up.

Shirin was the latest client at a salon in the Afghan capital, one of thousands closed across the country on Tuesday (July 25) by order of the Taliban authorities.

“I have someone watching outside in case the Taliban come. If something happens, we’ll put it in the bathroom or in the storage room and we’ll take care of packing,” salon owner Aziza said.

“Even if they put me in jail, I’ll give her a makeover because I promised her.”

While some beauticians twirled around Shirin, others were busy packing the salon.

Like tens of thousands of other salon workers, they were forced out of one of the last fields of work open to women under the Taliban government.

The ban on beauty salons is the latest blow not only to women’s earning power – salon owners and workers’ wages are often the only source of household income – but also to their social lives.

“We were heartbroken when we learned that the salons were closing because they were places where we not only took care of our appearance, but we could see friends and make new ones, chat and ease our sorrows,” said Bahara, 21, a client of a salon in Kabul.

“Women are not allowed to enter places of entertainment, so what can we do? Where can we go to have fun? Where can we gather to meet?”

Since returning to power in August 2021, Taliban authorities have banned girls and women from attending high school and university, banned them from visiting parks, fairgrounds and gymnasiums, and ordered them to cover up in public.

Women were also mostly barred from working for the United Nations or NGOs, with thousands of government workers being laid off or being paid to stay at home.


Kamela started working in a salon a year ago when she lost her job in the media and was no longer able to continue her studies. As the sole breadwinner for her family of five, the 19-year-old doesn’t know what she’ll do without her beauty salon salary.

“The closing of beauty salons means that all doors are closed to me, which means that I cannot work and live as a woman in Afghanistan,” she told AFP this week, braiding the long black hair of one of the salon’s last clients.

“Maybe tomorrow the Taliban will say that women don’t have the right to breathe.”

Manizha, 28, has invested time and money in growing her own salon since 2018, training some 200 women to work in the industry and become “self-sufficient”.

Now his current 25 employees, all of their primary breadwinners, are back to square one, and Manizha must watch his efforts go to waste.

“I’ve worked so hard and now my achievement is shattered,” she told AFP.

“I stayed in the country and paid taxes to the government, and now they are closing our beauty salon. It’s such a shame, it’s a blow to the country’s economy and to us.”

In the weeks before the ban took effect, women rushed to salons to have their hair dyed and their eyebrows shaped – their last chance to do something for themselves.

The Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice claimed that extravagant sums spent on makeovers were causing hardship for poor families and that some treatments – such as eyelash extensions and hair weaving – were un-Islamic.

But beautician Najla felt the work was a good ethical life.

“I was doing a good job, I was able to bring some bread home. What am I going to do now ? says the orphan who takes care of her brothers and sisters.

“What do they really want from us? They’ve closed all places to women. Maybe one day they’ll just say, ‘Every time a girl is born, bury her alive’.”

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An Overview of Global Events in 2023

In 2023, the world witnessed a myriad of events that left a lasting impact on global affairs. From political developments and economic shifts to environmental challenges and breakthroughs in science and technology, the year was marked by significant changes and a sense of urgency for collective action. Here’s an overview of some of the latest world news in 2023.

Political Unrest and Diplomatic Strides:
In the political arena, several regions experienced unrest and geopolitical tensions. The ongoing conflict in the Middle East continued to dominate headlines, with efforts towards peace and stability remaining elusive. However, there were also moments of diplomatic breakthroughs as nations engaged in dialogues to ease tensions and work towards lasting solutions.

Economic Transformations:
The global economy faced both challenges and opportunities. Trade disputes between major powers affected markets, while some countries grappled with debt crises. On the other hand, emerging economies showed resilience and promising growth, fueling optimism for a more balanced global economic landscape.

Technological Advancements:
Innovation surged forward in the tech industry, with breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, renewable energy, and space exploration. Quantum computing achieved milestones, promising radical transformations across industries. Renewable energy sources gained traction, with many countries setting ambitious goals to combat climate change.

Climate Crisis and Environmental Resilience:
As the climate crisis intensified, extreme weather events wreaked havoc in various parts of the world. Wildfires, hurricanes, and floods reminded humanity of the urgent need for climate action. In response, governments and communities across the globe doubled down on efforts to reduce carbon emissions, invest in sustainable infrastructure, and protect biodiversity.

Health and Pandemic Management:
Health remained a global priority as countries continued to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. With the emergence of new variants, vaccination efforts and public health measures remained crucial to curbing the spread of the virus. There were also significant advancements in medical research and technology, offering hope for better preparedness in handling future health crises.

Sports and Cultural Milestones:
Amidst the challenges, the world found moments of joy and unity through sports and culture. International sporting events brought together athletes from diverse backgrounds, promoting solidarity and camaraderie. Cultural exchanges and celebrations showcased the richness of human diversity and fostered mutual understanding.

In conclusion, the year 2023 was a dynamic period filled with significant events that shaped the course of history. From political unrest to technological advancements and environmental challenges, the world witnessed the complexities of the global landscape. While obstacles remained, there were also encouraging developments and collaborative efforts towards a more sustainable, peaceful, and prosperous future for all nations. As we move forward, the lessons learned from these events serve as a reminder of the importance of collective action and cooperation to address shared global challenges.