The order of the Ministry of Vice and Virtue which demanded female TV presenters cover their faces, sparked strong reactions at the national and international level.
The European Union, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International reacted and called for the cancellation of the order.
“We are alarmed by the worrying reports that the Taliban are not complying with the international human rights obligation to which Afghanistan committed over the past decades,” said Nabila Massrali, Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy of the EU.
Last Sunday was the final deadline set by the Ministry of Vice and Virtue for female presenters to wear masks while presenting TV programs.
“The (UN) Security Council and the international community in general need to take more concrete steps to address the very serious women’s rights crisis provoked by the Taliban in Afghanistan right now,” said Heather Barr, the director of the Women's Rights Division at Human Rights Watch.
The US envoy for Afghan women and human rights, Rina Amiri, also reacted to this issue.
“The Taliban made men unwilling accomplices in the oppression of women in its hijab edict. This is a powerful example of men courageously standing in solidarity with women & protesting what the Taliban is doing,” Amiri said on Twitter, referring to the decision of some Afghan male TV presenters to wear masks on camera in solidarity. “This is the kind of leadership that Afghanistan needs,” she said.
Meanwhile, the presenters said that they are facing challenges while wearing masks and presenting the news.
“It is a difficult job because we cannot breathe oxygen clearly. I feel uncomfortable,” said Hania Danial, a presenter.
“All I can say is that whoever imposed this sanction, try it for at least an hour or more than that, they will never call for an imposition of masks,” said Farishta Hatak, an anchor.
This comes as the deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate, Inamullah Samangani, said: “The question is that the supporters of dress codes change -- those who oppose the hijab, why didn’t they stand against the mandatory use of neckties? If the necktie could be a uniform, why not the hijab?"