Taliban authorities issued a decree on Wednesday, ordering female Afghan TV presenters and other women on screen to cover their faces while appearing on air.

The Afghan spokesman of the Ministry for the Prevention of Vice and Promotion of Virtue announced that it will be mandatory for all women in the country to cover their faces in public, including those who appear on the screen. The new decree will take effect from 21 May, reports Reuters.

One female Afghan journalist working for a local TV station in Kabul told BBC, “They are putting indirect pressure on us to stop us presenting on TV.”

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“How can I read the news with my mouth covered? I don’t know what to do now but I must work, I am the breadwinner of my family,” she added.

The spokesman referred to the ruling as “advice” as it is not clear what will happen to anyone who fails to comply. “Based on information received by Tolo news, the order has been issued to all media outlets in Afghanistan.”

The decision is being widely criticised on Twitter, many people calling it another step by the Taliban to promote extremism.

It is pertinent to mention that this recent ruling has come two weeks after all women were ordered to cover themselves from head to toe in public.