Afghan TV presenters cover their faces in solidarity with their female colleagues

Tolo News Team, with men and women covering their faces.ANP/EPA photo

Popular Afghan news anchor Sibghat Sepehr has presented the news with a black hoodie in recent days. The hat was not worn because of the coronavirus, but in response to the Taliban’s order that women should cover their faces on television. In solidarity, Sepehr also wore face coverings during the broadcast, including during interviews with studio guests.

And Sepehr is not alone. All male broadcasters of the main Afghan channel Tolo News wear face masks to support their female colleagues. Saturday’s event began with a photo on social media, in which female news anchors wear their headscarves and men cover their mouths. “Implementation of the order to cover the faces of TV presenters,” the station wrote.

It turned out to be the start of a campaign. The hosts of several Afghan channels have appeared on TV screens in recent days wearing their faces and sharing photos on social media with #FreeHerFace. They plan to continue wearing masks until the Taliban reverses the decision. More and more journalists and news readers around the world are showing their support for the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan by sharing a photo with a mouth mask.