REPORT: Taliban BANS television shows featuring female actors as part of ‘religious guideline’

The Taliban issued eight new rules to television channels, one of which prohibits females from being featured in TV shows.

After taking power of Afghanistan in August, the Taliban, a militant Islamist group, has dramatically changed the culture from what it was before. One of the first changes made last summer was to women’s rights. Females were commanded to stay home from school almost immediately following the takeover.

More recently, the Taliban has issued new rules regarding television. Films that are considered against Sharia law and Afghan values have been banned. Men are prohibited from exposing intimate body parts on footage. Comedy and entertainment that is insulting towards Islam or is seen as offensive to Afghans are not allowed. The Taliban has also forbidden foreign films that promote foreign cultural values. However, the country’s TV channels mostly broadcast foreign drama, often with female characters leading.

BBC spoke to Hujjatullah Mujaddedi, a member of an organization which represents journalists. He said the new restrictions were unexpected and if implemented, were not practical. As a result, some broadcasters may have no choice but to close.

When the Taliban first took over in the 1990s, women were banned from school and work, similar to how they have been now. The group announced that the decision to keep women and girls home from school was “temporary” and was instituted so females would be “safe” in workplaces and schools. Kabul’s mayor said female municipal employees were ordered to stay home. The only exception was for jobs that couldn’t be filled by a man.

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