Male news anchors in Afghanistan started the #FreeHerFace social media campaign by covering their faces on air on Sunday after the Taliban ruled on Thursday that female anchors had to cover their faces while broadcasting.
At first, there was a low level of compliance with the new law, but after a couple of 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.
Taliban ordered #Afghanwomen on TV to cover their faces on-air. This from those who stopped girls going to school. We stand with our friends in #Afghanistan - and demand Taliban #freeherface. pic.twitter.com/cyts4Q1qUR— Jon Williams (@WilliamsJon) May 23, 2022
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.
The courageous head of Afghanistan's @TOLOnews @khpolwaksapai leading the way by showing solidarity with female journalists forced to cover their faces by the Taliban #freeherface #Afghanwomen https://t.co/r5YNE5dMn2 pic.twitter.com/hyxzqpIdyH— Yalda Hakim (@BBCYaldaHakim) May 23, 2022
This is the latest order from the Taliban that impedes women's freedom. Since they took control of the country last summer, the Taliban leaders have blocked girls from secondary education, limited women's freedom of movement and greatly harmed women's careers and access to healthcare.
On May 9, women and older girls were ordered to cover their faces in public and even avoid going out in public where possible.