Kabul: The Taliban’s new higher education ministry on Sunday said that Afghan women will be allowed to attend university, even at the post-graduation level, but on a condition that they study separately from men. According to the new higher education ministry, the classrooms will be gender-segregated with the Islamic dress being compulsory.Also Read - Taliban Cancel Afghanistan Govt Inaugural Ceremony After 'Pressure From Doha': Report
Abdul Baqi Haqqani, the Taliban education minister, laid out the new policies at a news conference, several days after Afghanistan’s new rulers formed an all-male government. Also Read - UN Condemns Taliban Violence Against Protesters, Journalists; Calls For Immediate Cease of Forces
Haqqani said the Taliban did not want to turn the clock back 20 years but added that Hijabs will be made compulsory. Also Read - India Demands Taliban Keep Commitment to Not Harbour Terrorists, Appeals Intl. Community to Stand With Afghans
He said the Taliban will not allow co-education. Female university students will face restrictions under the Taliban, including a compulsory dress code, he said.
Haqqani said the subjects being taught in universities would also be reviewed but did not elaborate further.
During the Taliban regime in the late 1990s, girls and women were denied access to education and public life. Now, with the Taliban back in power, they have promised a change in their attitude towards women.
However, reports of violence against women protestors demanding equal rights in Afghanistan paint a different picture. The Taliban had even arrested and debarred male journalists for covering women’s protest.
Taliban’s take on women education
The Taliban, who subscribe to a harsh interpretation of Islam, had banned music and art during their previous time in power.
Earlier this month, the Taliban announced that women could study if the classes are at least divided by a curtain.
Recently, Afghan journalist Bashir Ahmad Gwakh tweeted, “Taliban officially announce ban on coeducation. ‘Men not allowed to teach girls,’ Taliban Higher Education Minister says — This will effectively deprive girls from higher education because universities cannot afford it nor there are enough human resources.”
According to the Afghan Journalist, the Taliban higher education minister, in a speech at Loya Jirga Tent, had said that all the educational activities will be conducted as per the Sharia Law.
“Compared to the past the number of educational institutions have increased dramatically. This gives us hope for a future, prosperous and self-sufficient Afghanistan… we will continue from where they were left,” the Taliban leader was quoted as saying.