21 December 2022
The Taliban have banned women from universities in Afghanistan. A letter by the Ministry of Higher Education instructed universities to immediately suspend access to female students on 20 December 2022.
The regression comes a year after the Taliban banned teenage girls from attending secondary school.
Some women staged protests in the capital Kabul on Wednesday. “Today we come out on the streets of Kabul to raise our voices against the closure of the girls’ universities,” protesters from the Afghanistan Women’s Unity and Solidarity group said.
Male students from Nangarhar medical university walked out of classes in protest of Taliban’s ban on female university students. The small demonstrations were quickly shut down by Taliban officials.
The Taliban’s leader Hibatullah Akhundzada and his inner circle have been against modern education – particularly for girls and women.
The crackdown follows a wave of new restrictions on women since the Taliban regime took over. In November, women were banned from parks, gyms and public baths in the capital.
The UN’s Special Rapporteur to Afghanistan said it was “a new low further violating the right to equal education and deepens the erasure of women from Afghan society.”
The news has sparked international condemnation and despair among girls and women in Afghanistan.