Human rights in Afghanistan: Taliban ban women from universities

Status: 12/20/2022 7:54 p.m

The Taliban have banned Afghan women from accessing higher education. The ban applies for an indefinite period, according to a government statement. Just three months ago, girls and women across the country had taken entrance exams for universities.

The Islamist Taliban have banned women from university education in Afghanistan. In a government statement, all private and public universities were instructed to enforce the ban on education for women until further notice. The announcement was shared by the Ministry of Higher Education and was available to the German Press Agency. The declaration was signed by the acting minister, Sheikh Neda Mohammed Nadim. There was no justification.

US and UK condemn the ban

The Islamists are thus further restricting the rights of women in Afghanistan. The US and Britain condemned the move during a UN Security Council session on Afghanistan. “The Taliban cannot expect to become a legitimate member of the international community until they respect the rights of all Afghans, particularly human rights and the fundamental freedoms of women and girls,” said US Representative Robert Wood.

Separate classes so far

Less than three months ago, thousands of girls and women across the country had taken university entrance tests. Many of them wanted to study teaching or medicine.

After the radical Islamic Taliban took power in August last year, universities were already forced to introduce new rules. Entrances and classrooms were separated according to gender. Women could only be taught by other women or old men. Most teenage girls in Afghanistan are already excluded from further secondary education.

Dramatic situation of women

Girls and women are also largely excluded from other areas of public life. For example, women are not allowed to travel or drive to work unaccompanied by a male family member. In addition, many jobs are closed to women. In Kabul, Afghan women have even been banned from visiting public parks and gyms for several months. Despite international criticism, the Taliban are sticking to their course. Human rights organizations speak of a dramatic deterioration in women’s rights since the seizure of power.

Even during the Taliban regime between 1996 and 2001, women in Afghanistan were no longer allowed to work and were only allowed to leave the house wearing a veil and accompanied by a male family member. She was forbidden from speaking or laughing in public.

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