Taliban bars women from attending university in Afghanistan

Kabul, Dec 20 (EFE).- The ruling Taliban has banned women from attending university in Afghanistan, according to an order issued on Tuesday.

The decree is the latest measure by the regime targeting women and girls, who have already been banned from secondary education since the fundamentalists returned to power in August 2021.

The move aimed at public and private universities will come into force with “immediate effect,” according to a letter from the ministry of higher education published by Afghan media.

After regaining power, the Islamist fundamentalists initially insisted that women’s rights would not be hindered, before barring girls over the age of 12 from attending school earlier this year.

Tuesday’s move has drawn strong condemnation from the international community, with the UN accusing the Taliban of “another broken promise”.

“It’s another very troubling move and it’s difficult to imagine how the country can develop, deal with all of the challenges that it has, without active participation of women and the education of women,” UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told a press conference.

The announcement by the Taliban came just as the UN Security Council was meeting to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.

The UN envoy to that country, Roza Otunbayeva, again condemned the close of secondary schools for girls, a move which she said would mean there would be no more female students eligible for university within two years.

The decision is “extremely unpopular among Afghans and even within the Taliban leadership,” she said, adding that “as long as girls remain excluded from school and the de facto authorities continue to disregard other stated concerns of the international community, we remain at something of an impasse.” EFE


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