Afghan women banned from university ‘for not following dress code’

KABUL: Afghan universities have been declared barred from women because female students do not follow guidelines including a dress code. TalibanThe higher education minister said on Thursday.
The ban announced earlier this week is the latest restriction on women’s rights in Afghanistan ordered by the Taliban since they returned to power last August.
It has caused global outrage, including from Muslim countries, who argue that it is against Islamand from the Group of Seven industrialized democracies said the ban could lead to “crimes against humanity”.
But Neda Mohamad NadeemThe Taliban government’s higher education minister on Thursday stressed that female students had ignored Islamic guidelines – including what to wear or to travel with a male relative.
“Unfortunately after 14 months have passed, the guidelines of the Ministry of Higher Education of the Emirate on women’s education have not been implemented,” Nadeem said in an interview on state television.
“They dress like they’re going to a wedding. The girls who come to college from home don’t follow the headscarf guidelines either.”
Nadeem also said some science subjects are not suitable for women. “Engineering, agriculture and some other courses are not in keeping with the dignity and honor of female students and the Afghan culture,” he said.
Nadeem said authorities have also decided to close down madrassas that teach only female students but are located inside mosques.
The higher education ban comes less than three months after thousands of female students were allowed to sit for university entrance exams, many aspire to be future careers in teaching and medicine.
Girls’ high schools have been closed across most of the country for more than a year – also temporarily, according to the Taliban, although they have offered a range of reasons why they have not reopened.
Women have been gradually excluded from public life since the return of the Taliban, pushed out of many government jobs or paid only a fraction of their former salary to stay at home.
They are also banned from traveling without a male relative and must cover their faces in public, and are banned from parks, fairs, gyms and public baths.
The Taliban’s treatment of women, including the latest move to restrict their access to universities, has been met with a backlash from the G7, with ministers demanding the ban be lifted.
The ministers said in a statement, referring to the International Criminal Court in The Hague: “Gender suppression could lead to a crime against humanity under the Rome Statute, of which Afghanistan is a country. member family.
“Taliban policies aimed at excluding women from public life will have consequences for the way our countries communicate with the Taliban.”
The international community has made all women’s right to education a key point in negotiations over aid and recognition of the Taliban regime.
Saudi Arabia also expressed “surprise and regret” at the ban, and urged the Taliban to rescind the ban.
But Nadeem hit back at the international community, saying it “shouldn’t interfere in Afghanistan’s internal affairs”.
Earlier Thursday, a group of Afghan women held a street protest in Kabul to protest the ban.
“They expel women from universities. Oh, respected, supported, supported people. Everyone’s right or nobody!” Protesters chanted as they gathered in a neighborhood in Kabul, footage obtained by AFP showed.
One protester at the rally told AFP that “several girls” had been arrested by female police officers. Two were later released and two remained in custody, she added on condition of anonymity.
Women-led protests have become increasingly rare in Afghanistan since the Taliban took over the country in August 2021, especially following the arrest of key activists earlier this year.
Participants risk arrest, violence and discrimination from their families when participating.
Despite promising a softer rule when they take power, the Taliban have increased restrictions on every aspect of women’s lives.
After the takeover, universities were forced to implement new rules that included sexist classes and entrances, while women were only allowed to teach by professors of the same sex or older men. .
Some Taliban officials say the Taliban adhere to an austere version of Islam, with the movement’s supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada and his group of clerics opposing modern education, especially against with girls and women.
In the 20 years between the two dynasties of the Taliban, girls were allowed to go to school and women were able to find work in all areas, although the country remained socially conservative.
Authorities have also returned to beating men and women in public in recent weeks, as they exercised their extreme interpretation of Islamic Sharia law.


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