KABUL: Afghan universities resumed classes on Monday after a winter break, but women are still banned by the Taliban.


Since the Taliban swept back to power in August 2021, they have imposed a number of restrictions on women, including a ban on them attending universities; this has prompted widespread outrage, even among Muslims.

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

This is sexism against women because Islam encourages us to get degrees. No one has the right to impede our education.

After reports that female students were breaking the Taliban’s strict dress code and the requirement that they be accompanied by a male relative at all times while on campus, the government enacted the ban.

Gender-segregated entrances and classrooms were standard at most universities, and women were restricted to being taught by either female or elderly male instructors.
“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’re trying to do something about it by talking to professors and other students so that there’s a way for boys and girls to study and advance together.”

A female engineering student at Afghanistan’s largest university, Kabul University, named Ejatullah Nejati, argued that women should be guaranteed the right to attend college.

It’s not a big deal if they have different class schedules. “They have a right to education, and it should be given to them,” Nejati said as he walked onto the college grounds.
Despite repeated assurances that they would reopen secondary schools for girls, the Taliban have kept them shut for over a year now.

They have cited a variety of issues, including a lack of resources and the time required to restructure the curriculum to reflect Islamic principles, as reasons for the closure.

To be more specific, some Taliban officials claim that the ultra-conservative clerics advising Afghanistan’s supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada are highly skeptical of modern education for women.

Since regaining power, Taliban authorities have effectively marginalized women.

Many government jobs were eliminated for women or their salaries were drastically reduced so that they could stay at home with their children.

In addition, they are required to cover up in public and are therefore prohibited from going to parks, fairs, gyms, and public baths.

The United Nations has labeled the stipulations as “gender-based apartheid,” and human rights organizations have voiced their disapproval.

Women’s access to education has become a stumbling block in talks between the international community and the Taliban government over aid and recognition.

The Taliban have yet to be recognized internationally as the lawful government of Afghanistan.