In another measure curbing women’s freedom in Afghanistan, the new Taliban government’s higher education minister Abdul Baqi Haqqani said on Sunday that women in Afghanistan can continue to study in universities, but classrooms will be gender-segregated and Islamic dress is compulsory. The women will be allowed to study at post-graduate levels too.
At a news conference, the minister laid out new policies days after Afghanistan’s new rulers formed the government.
At this time, the whole world has been watching the new government’s actions closely to see is the group true to its words and the type of rule it imposes on the country this time.
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In the era of their last rule, girls and women were denied an education, and were totally excluded from public life.
The Taliban have claimed to have changed, including in their attitudes towards women. But in recent days, they have used violence against women protesters demanding equal rights.
The minister said, “The Taliban did not want to turn the clock back 20 years. We will start building on what exists today.”
Under the Taliban, the female university students will face restrictions, which include a compulsory dress code. The minister added, hijabs will be mandatory.
“Gender segregation will also be enforced. We will not allow boys and girls to study together. We will not allow co-education,” said Haqqani.
Without elaborating, he said the subjects being taught in universities would also be reviewed.
(With inputs from agencies)