Afghanistan: #FreeHerFace New Campaign Initiated In Protest After Taliban Order

Taliban: Women anchors on Afghanistan’s major news networks went on live with their faces covered on Sunday, defying a Taliban order to hide their appearance on television the day before.

Only a few news outlets followed the directive when it was issued on Thursday. However, after the Taliban’s Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice began enforcing the directive on Sunday, most female presenters were seen with their faces covered.

The Ministry of Information and Culture previously announced that the policy was “final and non-negotiable”.

After the Taliban decided on Thursday that female news anchors must cover their faces while on television, male news anchors in Afghanistan began the #FreeHerFace social media campaign by covering their faces on broadcast on Sunday.

The new regulation was initially met with a low degree of compliance, but after a few days, the Taliban began enforcing it.

In response, male anchors wore masks while they were on the air in solidarity with their female colleagues and circulated their photos on Twitter with the hashtag Free Her Face.

The trend caught wind outside of Afghanistan with both male and female journalists and news anchors from around the world tweeting their own selfies in masks together with the hashtag and messages of support for the women in Afghanistan.

On May 9, women and older girls were ordered to cover their faces in public and even avoid going out in public where possible.

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