Photos of Women Are Being Erased in Kabul

As Taliban fighters entered Afghanistan’s capital and seized power, photos showed workers covering up images of women outside beauty salons.
August 16, 2021, 10:49am
Photos of Women Are Being Erased in Kabul
Photo: Kyodo via AP Images

Photos of women on the facades of businesses in Kabul have been removed, as the Afghan capital falls under Taliban control.

Taliban fighters entered Kabul yesterday as Afghanistan’s president fled the city, completing a stunning seizure of power that has played out over the past few weeks as US and other western military forces withdrew from the country.

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An employee of a beauty salon paints over the image of a woman. Photo: Kyodo via AP Images.

Photos from Kabul show workers painting over images of women outside a beauty salon. When the Taliban last ruled Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001—the year they were removed from power by a US-led coalition after the 9/11 attacks —women were banned from work and education, and ordered not to leave their homes unless accompanied by a male relative. When they did go outside, they were required to wear the burqa.

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Women walk past a beauty salon in Kabul earlier this month before the Taliban seized power. Photo by SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP via Getty Images.

In one photo, a man uses a paint roller to cover up an image of a woman in a green dress wearing jewellery and makeup. In another, a woman is ripping down an advertisement outside a beauty salon depicting two women not in burqas. 

Women in Afghanistan now fear for their rights and lives as the Taliban reestablishes control in the country. In an interview with BBC News, Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen said that women would be able to live their lives freely under Taliban rule. 

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Taliban fighters stand on a street in Zanbaq Square in Kabul after entering the city. Photo: Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Image.

“They should not be scared,” he said. “Their right to education and work is there. We have a commitment to that.”