July 2023 | Taliban bans beauty salons
A verbal decree by supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada banned all beauty salons in Afghanistan on 4 July, following bans on women and girls attending schools, working at NGOs, and visiting public areas such as parks. The decree is expected to result in more than 60,000 women losing their jobs and the shuttering of 12,000 businesses. The International Labor Organization told Reuters the decrease in women’s employment is expected to be significant, and that many women working in the industry are their family’s primary source of income.
March 2023 | Taliban civil society crackdown deepens
Human Rights Watch reported an expansion of the Taliban’s crackdown on journalists, women’s rights protesters, civil society activists, and humanitarian workers in what it described as an effort to crush all criticism as the path to political legitimacy. Those detained were denied access to lawyers and their family, and in most cases, authorities offered little or no explanation for the detentions, let alone how long detentions would last or under what legal pretext. In a separate statement, the United Nations Security Council urged the Taliban to relax its restrictions, worrying hunger and insecurity were taking an increasingly devastating toll on the country’s citizens.
January 2023 | Rules against female aid workers relaxed
The Taliban tacitly relaxed some restrictions on female aid workers working in health and nutrition. The Taliban had decreed in December that women would be banned from aid work for alleged failures to comply with its interpretation of Islamic clothing codes.
December 2022 | Taliban resumes public executions
The Taliban publicly executed a man in the Afghan city of Farah on 7 December, the first such execution since it returned to power in August 2021. United Nations officials condemned the execution as well as the Taliban’s reinstatement of public floggings, more than 100 of which have reportedly been carried out since 18 November 2022.