Afghan Universities Reopen, But Women Are Still Not Permitted

Afghan women

After the winter break, Afghan universities resumed to male students on Monday, but the Taliban still forbid women from attending.

Since the Taliban retook control in August 2021, numerous limitations have been placed on women. One of these restrictions, the university ban, has outraged people all over the world, particularly those in the Muslim world.

“It’s heartbreaking to see boys going to the university while we have to stay at home,” said a 22-year-old Rahela, from the central province of Ghor.

“This is gender discrimination against girls because Islam allows us to pursue higher education. Nobody should stop us from learning.”

The Taliban regime issued the restriction after charging female students with disobeying a rigid dress code and a requirement to be escorted to and from university by a male relative.

The majority of colleges and universities had already implemented gender-specific entrances, classrooms, and policies permitting only older women or female professors to teach female students.

“It’s painful to see that thousands of girls are deprived of education today,” Mohammad Haseeb Habibzadah, a student of computer science at Herat university, told AFP.

“We are trying to address this issue by talking to lecturers and other students so that there can be a way where boys and girls could study and progress together.”

Women’s education is a fundamental right, according to Ejatullah Nejati, an engineering student at Kabul University, the largest university in Afghanistan.

“It’s not a problem even if they take lessons on different days. As he arrived on the campus of the university, Nejati declared, “They have a right to education, and that right should be granted to them.”

Some Taliban leaders claim that the restriction on women attending schools is just temporary, but despite their assurances, they have not allowed the closure of secondary schools for girls for more than a year.

They have rolled out a broad list of justifications for the closure, ranging from a shortage of resources to the time required to redesign the curriculum in accordance with Islamic principles.

Several Taliban leaders assert that the ultra-conservative clerics who advise Afghanistan’s supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada have a profound mistrust of contemporary education for women.

Since retaking control, Taliban officials have successfully excluded women from public life.

Several government employment for women have been eliminated, or they are paid a small portion of their previous income to stay at home.

They must cover themselves in public and are prohibited from visiting parks, festivals, gyms, and public baths.

Rights organizations have denounced the limitations, which the UN has referred to as “gender-based apartheid”.

In discussions over assistance and recognition for the Taliban regime, the international community has made the right to education for women a contentious issue.

The Taliban have not yet received official recognition from any nation as Afghanistan’s rightful leaders.

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