Afghan women weep as Taliban fighters enforce university ban

KABUL, Afghanistan: Taliban security forces in the Afghan capital on Wednesday enforced a ban on higher education for women by blocking them from entering universities, with video obtained by the AP news agency showing women crying and comforting each other outside a campus in Kabul.
of the country Taliban the rulers a day earlier ordered women nationwide to stop attending private and public universities effective immediately and until further notice. The Taliban-led administration did not give a reason for the ban or react to strong and swift global condemnation of it.
Journalists saw Taliban forces outside four universities in Kabul on Wednesday. The forces prevented some women from entering while allowing others to enter and complete their work. They also try to prevent any photography, filming and demonstrations from taking place.
Rahimullah Nadeem, a spokesman for Kabul University, confirmed classes for female students had stopped. He said some women were allowed into the school for paperwork and administrative reasons, and four graduation ceremonies were held on Wednesday.
Members of an activist group called Women of Unity and Solidarity of Afghanistan gathered outside Edrak Private University in Kabul on Wednesday morning, chanting slogans in Dari.
“Don’t turn education into politics!” they said. “Once again college bans women, we don’t want to be kicked out!”
Although initially promising a more moderate rule respecting the rights of women and minorities, the Taliban have widely deployed their strict interpretation of Islamic law, or Shariasince they took power in August 2021.
They banned girls from middle and high school, banned women from most areas of employment, and ordered them to wear head-to-toe clothing in public. Women are also banned from parks and gyms.
A letter shared by a spokesman for the Ministry of Higher Education, Ziaullah Hashmi, on Tuesday asked private and public universities to implement the ban as soon as possible and notify the ministry as soon as possible. ban is implemented.
The move is sure to hurt the Taliban’s efforts to win recognition from potential international donors at a time when Afghanistan is mired in a worsening humanitarian crisis. The international community has called on Taliban leaders to reopen schools and give women access to public spaces.
US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken said late on Tuesday that no other country in the world banned women and girls from going to school.
“The Taliban cannot expect to become a legitimate member of the international community until they respect the rights of all people in Afghanistan,” he warned. This decision will have consequences for the Taliban.”
Afghan political analyst Ahmad Saeedi says the Taliban government’s latest decision may have closed the door on international acceptance.
“The issue of recognition is over,” he said. “The world is now trying to find an alternative. The world tried to be more interactive but they (Taliban) didn’t let the world talk to them about recognition.”
Saeedi said he believes most Afghans support female education because they see learning as a religious imperative contained in the Quran.
He said the decision to ban women from universities was likely made by several senior Taliban figures, including leader Hibatullah Akhunzada, who is based in the southwestern city of Kandahar, his birthplace. of the Taliban movement.
He said the main center of power was Kandahar, not the Taliban-led government in Kabul, even if the justice, higher education and virtue ministers would also be involved in the decision to ban women from entering. universities.
Last month, UN experts said the Taliban’s treatment of women and girls in Afghanistan could be a crime against humanity and should be investigated and prosecuted in accordance with international law.
They said the Taliban’s actions against women have deepened existing rights violations – already “the most draconian globally” – and may constitute gender repression, a crimes against humanity.
The Taliban government has denied the allegation.


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