Afghan universities reopen however ladies nonetheless barred – World
Afghan universities reopened on Monday after a winter break, however solely males returned to class with a “heartbreaking” ban by the Taliban authorities on ladies in increased training nonetheless in power.
The university ban is certainly one of a number of restrictions imposed on ladies for the reason that Taliban stormed again to energy in August 2021 and has sparked world outrage — together with throughout the Muslim world.
“It’s heartbreaking to see boys going to the college whereas we’ve got to remain at dwelling,” stated Rahela, 22, from the central province of Ghor.
“That is gender discrimination in opposition to women as a result of Islam permits us to pursue increased training. No one ought to cease us from studying.”
The Taliban authorities imposed the ban after accusing ladies college students of ignoring a strict costume code and a requirement to be accompanied by a male family member to and from campus.
Most universities had already launched gender-segregated entrances and school rooms, in addition to permitting ladies to be taught solely by feminine professors or aged males.
“It’s painful to see that 1000’s of ladies are disadvantaged of training at present,” Mohammad Haseeb Habibzadah, a scholar of laptop science at Herat college, advised AFP.
“We are attempting to handle this challenge by speaking to lecturers and different college students in order that there generally is a manner the place girls and boys might research and progress collectively.”
Ejatullah Nejati, an engineering scholar at Kabul College, Afghanistan’s largest, stated it was a basic proper of girls to review.
“Even when they attend courses on separate days, it’s not an issue. They’ve a proper to training and that proper needs to be given to them,” he stated as he entered the college campus.
Waheeda Durrani, a journalism student in Herat until she was barred from university last year, said the Taliban government wanted women to remain uneducated.
“If Afghan girls and women get educated, they will never accept a government that exploits Islam and the Koran,” she said.
“They will stand for their rights. That’s the fear the government has.”
At the capital’s private Rana university, male students trickled back to classes on Monday.
“My sister, unfortunately, cannot come to the university. She is trying to study at home,” said Ebratullah Rahimi, another journalism student.
Posters dating from before the ban showing how women needed to dress were still on display in the university corridors.
Several Taliban officials say the ban on women’s education is temporary but, despite promises, they have failed to reopen secondary schools for girls, which have been closed for more than a year.
The authorities have wheeled out a litany of excuses for the closure, from a lack of funds to the time needed to remodel the syllabus along Islamic lines.
The reality, according to some Taliban officials, is that the ultra-conservative clerics advising Afghanistan’s supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada are deeply sceptical of modern education for women.
Taliban authorities have effectively squeezed women out of public life since retaking power.
Women have been removed from many government jobs or are paid a fraction of their former salary to stay at home.
They are also barred from going to parks, fairs, gyms and public baths, and must cover up in public.
Rights groups have condemned the restrictions, which the United Nations called “gender-based apartheid”.
The international community has made the right to education for women a sticking point in negotiations over aid and recognition of the Taliban government.
No country has so far officially recognised the Taliban as Afghanistan’s legitimate rulers.