Afghan Taliban ban university education for girls

Published December 20, 2022
A member of the Afghan Taliban speaks with female students outside the Kabul Education University in Kabul, Afghanistan, February 26. — Reuters/File
A member of the Afghan Taliban speaks with female students outside the Kabul Education University in Kabul, Afghanistan, February 26. — Reuters/File

The Afghan Taliban authorities on Tuesday ordered an indefinite ban on university education for girls, the ministry of higher education said in a letter issued to all government and private universities.

“You all are informed to implement the mentioned order of suspending the education of females until further notice,” said the letter signed by Minister for Higher Education Neda Mohammad Nadeem.

The spokesman for the ministry, Ziaullah Hashimi, who tweeted the letter, confirmed the order in a text message to AFP.

The restriction on female education is likely to raise concerns in the international community, which has not officially recognised the de facto administration.

Foreign governments, including the United States, have said that a change in policies on women’s education is needed before it can consider formally recognising the Taliban-run administration, which is also subject to heavy sanctions.

The ban on higher education comes less than three months after thousands of girls and women sat university entrance exams across the country, with many aspiring to choose engineering and medicine as future careers.

After the takeover of the country by the hardliners in August last year, universities were forced to implement new rules including gender-segregated classrooms and entrances, while women were only permitted to be taught by women professors or old men.

Most teenage girls across the country have already been banned from secondary school education, severely limiting university intake.


Additional input from Reuters.

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