Striking photo from Kabul shows why so many Afghan women fear for their future under Taliban rule

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Striking photo from Kabul shows why so many Afghan women fear for their future under Taliban rule
A Taliban fighter walks past a beauty saloon with images of women defaced using a spray paint in Shar-e-Naw in Kabul on August 18, 2021. Wakil KOHSAR / AFP via Getty Images
  • An AFP photographer captured a chilling photo in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday.
  • An armed Taliban fighter walked past defaced images of women outside a beauty salon.
  • It was a visual reminder of the anxiety and fear many Afghans have under the militant group's rule.

As the Taliban retake Afghanistan for the first time in 20 years following a blitz-style seizure of the country, which ended in the fall of Kabul on Sunday, vandalized posters of women underscore a deep anxiety many female Afghans have for their future.

Images of women outside a Kabul beauty salon were painted over after the Taliban assumed control over the country, and other photographs show posters defaced. Photojournalist Wakil Kohsar captured the scene on Wednesday for Agence France-Presse.

During the Taliban's 1996-2001 rule, women were not allowed to work or attend school. They were also barred from leaving their homes without the presence of a man and were forced to cover their faces or risk punishment.

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While the militant group has pledged to give women more freedom this time, many residents are skeptical they'll keep that promise, and afraid of what the new Taliban rule might bring.

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