The Taliban has made a new rule that will stop women from appearing in TV dramas in Afghanistan.
The rule is amongst the religious guidelines issued to local media on Sunday, November 21st. A high profiled Afghan journalist, Anisa Shaheed confirmed the directive via her Twitter handle.
She wrote: “The Taliban’s new restrictions on the media on how to wear the hijab of female journalists, women’s clothing and women’s work, how to broadcast movies and TV series, entertainment programs and how to wear men’s clothing.”
The rule which stops women from appearing in TV shows and movies was first introduced when the Taliban was in power from 1996 to 2001. The Taliban seized power in mid-August after the departure of US and allied forces and are gradually imposing harsh rules in the country which was under democratic rule.
The Taliban’s guideline for TV networks comes after two decades of explosive growth for independent Afghan media under the Western-backed governments that ruled the country until August 15, when the Islamists regained power.
During the past 20 years, Afghan television channels offered a wide range of programs — from an ”American Idol” style singing competition to music videos, along with several Turkish and Indian soap operas.
When the Islamists previously ruled from 1996 to 2001, there were no Afghan media to speak of — they banned television, movies, and most other forms of entertainment, deeming it immoral.
People caught watching television faced punishment, including having their set smashed. Ownership of a video player could lead to public lashing.
There was only one radio station, Voice of Sharia, that broadcasts propaganda and Islamic programming.