Afghan women banned from university ‘for not following dress code’


The Taliban’s minister for higher education stated on Thursday that female students were not adhering to instructions, including a proper dress code, and as a result, Afghan universities were made inaccessible to women.

The boycott reported before this week is the most recent limitation on ladies’ freedoms in Afghanistan requested by the Taliban since their re-visitation of force in August last year.

It has sparked outrage all over the world, including from Muslim nations that see it as a violation of Islam and from the Group of Seven industrialized democracies, which have stated that the prohibition may constitute “a crime against humanity.”

However, Taliban minister for higher education Neda Mohammad Nadeem insisted on Thursday that female students had disregarded Islamic guidelines, such as what to wear or bring when traveling with a male relative.

In an interview with state television, Nadeem stated, “Unfortunately, after the passage of 14 months, the instructions of the Ministry of Higher Education of the Islamic Emirate regarding the education of women were not implemented.”

They appeared to be attending a wedding in their attire. Girls who were traveling from home to universities were also disregarding hijab instructions.

Additionally, Nadeem stated that not all science subjects were suitable for women.

He stated, “Engineering, agriculture, and other courses do not match the dignity and honor of female students, nor do they match Afghan culture.”

According to Nadeem, the authorities had also decided to close the madrassas that were housed inside mosques but only taught women students.

— AFP Less than three months earlier, thousands of female students were permitted to take university entrance exams, many of whom aspired to careers in teaching and medicine.

The majority of the country’s secondary schools for girls have been closed for more than a year, also temporarily, according to the Taliban, who have provided a myriad of justifications for their absence.

Since the Taliban returned, women have been slowly pushed out of public life, fired from many government positions, or paid a fraction of their former wages to stay at home.

They can’t travel without a male relative, can’t go to parks, fairs, gyms, or public baths, and they have to cover up in public.

Timeline showing the Taliban’s move towards a hardline position against the education of women in Afghanistan – AFP / AFP

The G7 ministers demanded that the Taliban’s treatment of women, including its most recent decision to deny women access to universities, be reversed.

According to a statement released by the ministers, “gender persecution may amount to a crime against humanity under the Rome Statute, to which Afghanistan is a state party,” the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Our nations’ interactions with the Taliban will be affected by Taliban policies that seek to eliminate women from public life.

The international community has made the right of all women to education a sticking point in negotiations regarding aid and Taliban regime recognition.

Saudi Arabia called the Taliban’s ban “astonishing and regretful” and urged them to lift it.

Nadeem, on the other hand, retaliated by stating that the international community should “not interfere in Afghanistan’s internal affairs.”

Rare protests

Prior Thursday a gathering of Afghan ladies organized a road challenge the boycott.

Women were kicked out of universities. Oh, the well-liked people, keep on keeping on. Rights for all or nothing! AFP obtained footage that showed the protesters chanting as they rallied in a Kabul neighborhood.

During the rally, a protester told AFP that “some of the girls” had been detained by female police officers. She went on to say that two were later released, but two were still in custody, and she spoke on condition of anonymity.

Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August 2021, particularly after the detention of key activists at the beginning of this year, women-led protests have become increasingly uncommon.

Participation puts participants at risk for arrest, violence, and family stigma. The Taliban have increased restrictions on all aspects of women’s lives despite promising a softer rule when they took power.

Universities were compelled to implement new regulations following their takeover, such as gender-segregated classrooms and entrances and the restriction that women could only be taught by men or professors of the same sex.

Some Taliban officials claim that the movement’s supreme leader, Hibatullah Akhundzada, and his inner circle of clerics oppose modern education, particularly for girls and women. The Taliban adhere to an austere version of Islam.

Even though the country remained socially conservative, girls were permitted to attend school and women were permitted to seek employment in all fields during the 20 years between the Taliban’s two reigns.

As they implement an extreme interpretation of Islamic sharia law, the authorities have also resumed public floggings of men and women in recent weeks.

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