Tuesday, March 5, 2024

“Taliban were at gate and told us…”: Female students turned away from Afghan universities

Afghan female students leave Kabul University in Kabul after the governing Taliban banned women from attending university in Afghanistan. [Stringer/EPA-EFE]

After the Taliban administration said women would be suspended from tertiary education, women university students in Afghanistan were turned away from campuses on Wednesday.

The decision to bar women was announced on Tuesday evening in a letter to universities from the higher education ministry.

The discriminatory move drew condemnation from human rights activists across globe, foreign governments and the United Nations.

The UN’s mission in Afghanistan asked the Taliban administration to “immediately” revoke the decision.

“We went to university, the Taliban were at the gate and told us, ‘You are not allowed to enter the university until further notice’ … everyone was crying,” Al Jazeera quotes Shaista, a business studies student at a private university in Kabul as responding.

Though several Taliban officials, including the deputy foreign minister and administration spokesperson, have spoken in favour of female education in recent months, the Taliban’s supreme spiritual leader, based in the southern city of Kandahar, has the final say on major decisions.

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