Taliban conditions for Afghan women if they want to go to university

Taliban conditions for Afghan women if they want to go to university

September 7, 2021 – 12:21 PM.

Registered women must be covered, leave class five minutes earlier than men and wait in a room for the latter to leave the building, according to a new ordinance.

Afghan students will not be allowed to mix with men in the classroom, and they must wear the black abaya and the niqab that covers their faces, according to a decree published by the Taliban regime on the eve of the reopening of private universities.

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In addition, women registered in these institutions will have to leave the classroom five minutes earlier than men and wait in a room until the latter leaves the building, specified decree, dated Saturday and published by the Ministry of Higher Education.

The decree stipulates that university professors must be appointed on their own or attempt to appoint “older professors” of proven morals.

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During the early period of the Islamic movement (1996-2001) the mixed-caste ban prevented nearly all women from studying. At that time, the burqa, whose veil covered the entire body, had to be worn from head to toe, with a net at eye level. The abaya that must be worn by private school students is a long veil that covers the whole body. The niqab on its part covers the face, but leaves the eyes visible.

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The international community is waiting in anticipation to see how the Taliban will treat women’s rights after seizing power on August 15. Since then, the Islamist movement has wanted to present a more moderate mood.

Regarding the ban on co-ed classes, “it would be complicated in practice, we don’t have enough teachers or enough classrooms to separate girls from boys,” a university professor confirmed to AFP, asking not to be identified. “But allowing girls to go to school and university is in itself an important and positive step,” he added.

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Some universities complied with this order, such as the Faculty of Economics of Avicenna, which erected curtains to separate men from women. “They imposed the decision on us and we were unable to oppose it,” university spokesman Jalil Tagil told AFP. He added that very few students attended on Monday “because of the obscurity”. Before the Taliban’s return to power, Afghan students could attend co-ed classes and courses taught by men.

Empty universities

Private universities in Kabul were virtually empty on Monday after the Taliban imposed gender segregation in classrooms and the wearing of the niqab on women. “No one, not students,” guards at two institutions told AFP in the morning. Two other universities reported a very low presence.

“Most of our students didn’t come,” says Reza Ramadan, a professor of computer science at Georgian University in the Afghan capital, Kabul. “We don’t even know if they are still in the country,” he adds. Tens of thousands of Afghans, most of them skilled, fled the country after the Taliban seized power on August 15. Others “are afraid of the Taliban and don’t know what the future holds.”

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The corridors of the University of Guristan, Kabul, are almost empty. “Of the 1,000 students who attended today, less than 200,” the foundation’s director, Noor Ali Rahmani, told AFP. He said his university made it clear during a meeting at the ministry on Sunday that it disagreed with the Taliban. We said we would not accept [el nicab] Because it is very difficult to impose, our students wear a handkerchief. We also told them that it was not written in the Qur’an.”

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