The Taliban’s higher education minister said on Thursday that Afghan universities are off limits to women for not following instructions on female students, including on appropriate dress.
The ban, announced earlier this week, is the latest crackdown on women’s rights in Afghanistan since the Taliban regained power in August last year.
It has sparked global outrage from Muslim countries, who consider it anti-Islam, and the Group of Seven industrialized democracies, who say the ban could be a crime against humanity.
But the Taliban government’s minister of higher education, Neda Mohammad Nadeem, insisted on Thursday that women were ignoring Islamic guidelines about what to wear when traveling or when traveling with a male relative.
“Unfortunately, after 14 months, the directives of the Islamic emirate’s Ministry of Higher Education regarding women’s education have not been implemented,” Nadeem said in an interview with state television.
“They dress like they’re going to a wedding. Even the girls who go to university from home don’t follow instructions about the hijab.”
Nadeem also said that some science subjects are not suitable for women. “Engineering, “Agriculture and other courses are not compatible with the dignity of female students and Afghan culture,” he said.
Nadeem said authorities have decided to close down madrassas, which only teach women but are housed in mosques.
University education was banned after thousands of female students were allowed to take university entrance exams, most of whom envisioned future careers in teaching and medicine.
Secondary schools for girls have been closed in most of the country for more than a year, but the Taliban have given many reasons, but they have not reopened, saying they were temporarily closed.
Since the return of the Taliban, women have been gradually shut out of public life, forced out of many government jobs or paid a fraction of their former salaries to stay at home.
Traveling without a male relative is also prohibited, veiling must be done in public, parks, Festivals Going to gyms and public bathrooms is also prohibited.
The Taliban’s treatment of women prompted a strong response from the G7 in the latest move, which included restricting their access to universities, with ministers calling for the ban to be reversed.
“Gender-based torture may constitute a crime against humanity under Roman law, which makes Afghanistan a state,” the ministers said in a statement, referring to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
“Taliban policies designed to erase women from public life will have consequences for how our countries engage with the Taliban.”
The international community has blocked access to education for all women in negotiations for aid and recognition of the Taliban government.
Saudi Arabia also expressed surprise and regret over the ban and urged the Taliban to back down.
But Nadam retorted to the international community that they should not interfere in Afghanistan’s internal affairs.
Earlier on Thursday, a group of Afghan women took to the streets of Kabul to protest the ban.
“They kicked women out of universities. Oh, people who respect, support, support. Don’t they have rights for everyone?” Footage obtained by AFP showed him shouting at protesters who had gathered in a Kabul neighborhood.
A protester at the march told AFP that “some girls” were arrested by female police officers. Two were later released and two remain in custody, said the person, who asked not to be named.
Women-led protests have been rare in Afghanistan, especially since the Taliban took over the country earlier this year in August 2021.
Participants were arrested by their families for participation; You can risk violence and stigma.
Despite promising a softer regime during the coup, the Taliban imposed restrictions on all aspects of women’s lives.
After their occupation, universities were forced to implement new rules, including gender-segregated classrooms and admissions, allowing women to be taught only by same-sex professors or older professors.
Some Taliban officials say the Taliban follow a strict form of Islam, with the movement’s supreme leader, Hibatullah Akhundzada, and clerics in his inner circle opposed to modern education, particularly for girls and women.
In the 20 years between the two Taliban regimes, girls were allowed to go to school and women were able to find work in all socially conservative sectors of the country.
Authorities have returned to public floggings of men and women in recent weeks due to an extreme interpretation of Islamic Sharia law.
(Other than the title, this story is published from a syndicated feed, unedited by NDTV staff.)
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