Afghan Women Stopped From Entering Universities After Taliban Ban

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Afghan Women Stopped From Entering Universities After Taliban Ban
Afghan Women Stopped From Entering Universities After Taliban Ban

The decision to bar women from universities came late Tuesday in a terse announcement from Neda Mohammad Nadeem, the Minister for Higher Education.

KABUL: Hundreds of young women were barred from entering Afghan university campuses by armed guards on Wednesday, a day after the country’s Taliban rulers banned them from higher education in another human rights attack.
Despite promising soft rule when they seized power last year, hardline Islamists have imposed restrictions on all aspects of women’s lives, defying international outrage.

A team of AFP journalists saw groups of students gathering outside universities in the capital, Kabul, which were blocked by armed guards and locked at the gates.

Many people dressed in hijab were also seen standing in groups on the roads leading to the campus.


“We are doomed. We have lost everything,” said one student, who asked not to be identified.

Men students also expressed shock at the latest edict.

“It really expresses their illiteracy and low knowledge of Islam and human rights,” said one, also asking not to be named.

“If the situation continues like this the future will be worse. Everyone is scared.”

Most private and government universities are closed for a few weeks over winter, although campuses generally remain open to students and staff.

The decision to bar women from universities came late Tuesday in a terse announcement from Neda Mohammad Nadeem, the Minister for Higher Education.

“You all are informed to immediately implement the mentioned order of suspending the education of females until further notice,” it said.

Washington condemned the decision “in the strongest terms.”

“The Taliban cannot expect to be a legitimate member of the international community until they respect the rights of all in Afghanistan. This decision will come with consequences for the Taliban,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, meanwhile, was “deeply alarmed”, his spokesman said Tuesday.

“The secretary-general reiterates that the denial of education not only violates the equal rights of women and girls but will have a devastating impact on the country’s future,” Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

The ban on higher education comes less than three months after thousands of girls and women were allowed to sit for university entrance exams across the country, with many aspiring to choose teaching and medicine as future careers.

Most teenage girls across the country have already been banned from secondary school, severely limiting university intake anyway.

After the Taliban takeover in August last year, universities were forced to implement new rules including gender-segregated classrooms and entrances, while women were only permitted to be taught by professors of the same sex, or old men.

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