A man can be seen using a roller and white paint to cover large images outside a building in a photo posted to Twitter by an Afghan journalist on Sunday.
The ads appear to be outside of the Taj Beauty Salon, which describes itself as “the best bridal beauty salon in Afghanistan”.
A video posted to the company’s Facebook page in March this year shows models posing in wedding dresses in two of the ads located on either side of the salon entrance.
The incident comes despite a claim by a Taliban spokesperson that the militant group will “respect women’s rights” when it takes control of Afghanistan.
Suhail Shaheen told BBC News: “We will respect the rights of women (…) our policy is that women have access to education and work, to wear the hijab. “
He reaffirmed the Taliban’s position that “no one should leave the country … we need all the talents and all the abilities, we need all of us to stay in the country and participate.”
Her comments followed reports a day earlier that women had been fired from their jobs in deposed provinces and ordered to leave universities in some cases.
The armed men escorted them to their homes and told them not to return to their jobs. Instead, they explained that male relatives could take their place, according to three of the women involved and the bank manager.
“It’s really weird not being allowed to come to work, but now it is,” said Noor Khatera, 43, who had worked in the bank’s accounting department.
“I learned English on my own and even learned to use a computer, but now I’m going to have to look for a place where I can just work with more women. “
The incident is a warning sign that some of the rights acquired by Afghan women in the 20 years since the overthrow of the outright militant Islamist movement may be overturned.
The Taliban have invaded the country regularly since US troops began withdrawing in May and insurgents entered the capital on Sunday.
When the group last ruled Afghanistan, from 1996 to 2001, women could not work, girls were not allowed to go to school, and women had to cover their faces and be accompanied by children. ‘a male relative if they wanted to venture out of their home.
Women who broke the rules have at times been humiliated and beaten in public by the Taliban religious police under the group’s strict interpretation of Islamic law.
During hitherto unsuccessful talks on a political settlement, Taliban leaders assured the West that women would enjoy equal rights in accordance with what was granted by Islam, including the ability to work and to be educated.
Two days after the episode at Azizi Bank, a similar scene unfolded at a branch of another Afghan lender, Bank Melli, in the western town of Herat, according to two cashiers who witnessed it.
Three Taliban fighters armed with weapons entered the branch, berating the employees for showing their faces in public. Women have resigned there, sending male relatives in their place.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid did not respond to a request for comment on the two incidents, nor did the two banks involved.
On the broader question of whether women would be allowed to work in banks in areas it controls, Mujahid added that no decision has yet been made.
“After the establishment of the Islamic system, it will be decided according to the law, and God willing, there will be no problems,” he said.
The United States and other Western powers fear the Taliban will undermine many of the freedoms women have won.
The gains in women’s rights are considered one of the greatest achievements of the 20-year deployment of US forces in Afghanistan, although they have mainly been made in urban centers.
Afghan women working in fields such as journalism, healthcare and law enforcement have been killed in a wave of attacks since the start of peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government last year supported by the United States.
The government attributes most of the targeted killings to the Taliban, who denies committing the killings.
Dozens of Afghan women have taken to social media for help and to express their frustration.
“With every city that crumbles, human bodies crumble, dreams crumble, history and the future crumble, art and culture crumble, life and beauty crumble. , our world is collapsing, ”Rada Akbar wrote on Twitter. “Someone please stop this. “
Malala Yousafzai, women’s education activist and youngest Nobel Laureate, tweeted: “We are watching in shock as the Taliban take control of Afghanistan.
“I am deeply concerned for women, minorities and human rights defenders.
“Global, regional and local authorities must call for an immediate ceasefire, provide emergency humanitarian assistance and protect refugees and civilians.
Additional Reuters Reports