Kabul. Since the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan, harsh restrictions have been imposed on women, including mandatory hijabs, and now even mannequins in women’s clothing stores in the country’s capital, Kabul, have their faces covered. Local media reported that the Taliban, upon returning to power in August 2021, had ordered that all shops be removed or beheaded. His order was based on a strict interpretation of Islamic law, which forbids the use of effigies and images of the human form, as they can be worshiped as idols, but it is in line with Taliban attempts to keep women out of the public eye. Also coincides with the campaign of
Some shopkeepers obeyed the order, but others protested and complained that they would not be able to display their clothes properly and would have to destroy their expensive mannequins. After this the Taliban had to change their order and they allowed the shopkeepers to use the mannequins with their faces covered. Now there was a dilemma in front of the shopkeepers that they had to follow the order and also attract the customers.
In such a situation, the shopkeepers found a creative way and covered their mannequins with such masks in different ways, which unintentionally attracted the attention of the customers. Mannequins are covered with unique masks at several shops on the Lessi Mariam Street in Kabul. A shopkeeper in his shop has covered the face of a mannequin dressed in a purple dress studded with shells with a mask of the same colour. At another shop, a mannequin dressed in a red gown with gold embroidery has its face covered with a red velvet cloth mask and a crown on its head.
Basheer, a shopkeeper who did not wish to be named, told The Associated Press, “I cannot cover the head and face of the mannequins with plastic or anything that looks unsightly because it will not make my shop look good.” The economy has suffered a lot under Taliban rule. Basheer said that the sales of shopkeepers have halved. Hakim, another shopkeeper, has covered the faces of mannequins in his shop with aluminum foil.
He said, “I turned this threat and restriction into an opportunity and did something that made the mannequins look even more attractive than before.” However, many shopkeepers haven’t been able to make a difference. At a shop, mannequins were seen covered with black plastic sheets. Some of the mannequins in the shops also have their faces covered. This indicates that the authorities are uniformly implementing these orders. A woman shopping on Lacey Merriam Street said, “When I look at them (the mannequins), I feel that these mannequins are also caged and trapped. I am scared.” She said, “In these shops I see myself, an Afghan woman who has been denied her rights.”
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