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Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Women Still Barred as Afghan Universities Reopen for Men


Mon 06 Mar 2023 | 09:23 PM
Israa Farhan

Young men have returned to study in Afghan universities, which reopened on Monday, after a long winter break, unlike young women who are still barred from education by the Taliban regime.

At the end of December, the Minister of Higher Education, Nada Muhammad Nadeem, banned women from attending universities and justified his decision by "the students' failure to adhere to the instructions regarding the hijab," in reference to the mandatory covering of women's head, face, and body, in addition to going out accompanied by a Mahram.

Universities set new rules after the return of the Taliban to power, aimed specifically at separating the ranks of young men from young women. They were only allowed to take lessons from female teachers or old men.

While Taliban officials say that preventing girls from attending secondary schools and universities is temporary, the movement has not set a timetable for reopening these institutions, knowing that secondary schools have been closed to girls for a year and a half.

The authorities justified the closure with many arguments, including the lack of a sufficient number of teachers and the lack of sufficient money, or that schools will open their doors to girls after developing an Islamic curriculum.

However, some Taliban officials admitted that the supreme leader of the movement, Hibatullah Akhundzada, and his circles were opposed to modern education, especially for girls and women.

The Taliban gradually increased restrictive measures, especially against women, who were excluded from most public jobs or given low wages to urge them to stay at home.