Armed guards stopped young women outside Afghan universities, and ordered an immediate end to female education.
– We are lost. We’ve lost everything,” a student told AFP in the capital, Kabul, on Wednesday.
The agency’s journalists witnessed armed guards preventing several hundred girls from entering university campuses in the capital.
The day before, the country’s universities had received a letter from the Afghan Taliban government ordering them to suspend all education for women until further notice.
– They just want women to stay at home and give birth to children, says Sitara Farahmand, 21, who has so far studied German literature at Kabul University.
And on Tuesday it became known that the Taliban government is in Afghanistan excludes women of universities in the country.
– I am very concerned about reports that the Taliban are planning to exclude women from universities. If true, it further exacerbates the human rights crisis in Afghanistan. And we see again that it particularly affects women and girls. It is also bad for the economy. Foreign Minister Anken Hoytveldt (AP) said that good development is impossible if half of the population is turned away. to VG.
The ban applies to all studies in all universities in the country, according to an announcement issued by the Ministry of Education on Tuesday.
The order is given in a letter sent to all public and private universities in Afghanistan.
Afghan girls and women are already barred from secondary education. The United Nations estimates that more than a million Afghan girls were prevented from attending secondary school last year.
The Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August 2021.
A spokesman for Kabul University, Rahimullah Nadeem, confirmed that women’s education had been halted.
He says some women were allowed on campus to handle administrative matters, and that four graduation ceremonies were held on Wednesday.
Outside Edrak Private University, a group of activists demonstrated in the morning.
– We will not be eliminated! they cried.
They are deprived of education, work and freedom. But the women of Afghanistan are not giving up.
The situation now seems hopeless, says a 29-year-old literature student. She still believes there is little chance that the Taliban will be able to come back again and allow the women to continue their studies.
Elsewhere in the country, young women sought comfort from friends and family after being told of an education ban.
We felt like birds in a cage. We hugged, screamed and shouted, “Why is this happening to us,” says nursing student Amini, 23, in Kunduz city.
VG visited a secret girls’ school in Afghanistan — read about it here:
They are terrified, but they defy the Taliban and risk everything for the dream of a better life.
He didn’t know
Some students also expressed their dissatisfaction with the ban. In the city of Jalalabad, a group of men walked out of the exam in protest.
A Taliban guard told AFP that some of the female students were unaware of the new ban until Wednesday morning.
My sister studies computer science. I didn’t tell her anything last night. I knew it would be traumatic, says a young law student, who does not want to be named for fear of the regime’s backlash.
When soldiers from the United States and other Western countries left Afghanistan last year, and the Taliban seized power, the Islamists promised a less strict regime than the last time they ruled Afghanistan.
But since then, restrictions on women and other social groups have been gradually tightened.
Should be covered up
Girls are no longer allowed to attend middle or high school, and are only allowed to go to school up to and including sixth grade.
Women must once again wear fully covered clothing, and are prohibited from visiting parks, gardens, and gyms. They are also not allowed to travel long distances without a male escort.
In March, the Taliban opened the way for girls to pursue secondary education again. But on the day the girls reunite, they are told that the decision has been reversed.
Since then, many teenage girls have been married off by families who think this is better than sitting at home doing nothing.
Since the seizure of power in August last year, teaching in universities has been divided by gender. Women could only be taught by female tutors, or older men if necessary.
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You must take exams
Less than three months ago, thousands of women and girls were allowed to take university exams in Afghanistan. Many of them were studying to be teachers or doctors.
They are now told that the educational path is still closed.
– Think of all the women doctors, lawyers and teachers who could have been educated and now cannot participate in the country’s development, Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a statement.
Afghan political analyst Ahmad Saeedi believes that the decision to ban education was taken by a small group of men in the Taliban’s senior leadership. Among them is the supreme leader of the movement, Hebatullah Akhunzadeh, who is based in the city of Kandahar.
Saidi believes that the decision marks the end of attempts to obtain international recognition of Afghanistan, which is ruled by the Taliban.
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