A new emphasis by the Taliban on the freedom of Afghan women: The authorities in Kabul today established a Prohibition of university education for women “until a further notice”. And the Minister of Higher Education, Nada Muhammad Nadeem, wrote in a letter to all public and private universities categorically: “You are all aware of the implementation of the aforementioned order to stop women’s education.”
Nadeem, a former governor and military commander, as well as a hardline preacher, was appointed president of the university last October, and immediately voiced his strong opposition to female education, calling it un-Islamic and contrary to Afghan values. For this reason, the decision reported today unfortunately did not come as a surprise.
Since coming to power, the Taliban, after effectively banning women from working, ordered the closure of girls’ schools last March, pending new directives in accordance with Islamic law. The directives were never issued, not to mention the fact that it’s actually impossible to get into college without attending high school. However, on May 7, the decree of the Taliban Supreme Leader, Haibatullah Akhunzada, arrived, which imposed a full veil, which should leave only the eyes uncovered (when it is not a burqa, which also includes these) when a woman is outside his house.
In this context, three months ago, thousands of girls and women were able to take university entrance exams across the country, albeit with drastic restrictions on course selection, with science, engineering, economics, agriculture and veterinary banned, and press severely restricted. Not to mention the rules imposed on all universities including separate classrooms and entrances for men and women. In reality, however, it’s just smoke and mirrors.
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