Taliban: Women in Afghanistan can continue to study in gender-segregated universities

The female university students would be required to wear a hijab but did not elaborate on whether this only meant a compulsory headscarf or also mandatory face coverings.

On Sunday, the higher education minister in the new Taliban government said Women in Afghanistan are allowed to study in universities, including at post-graduate levels, but classrooms will be gender-segregated and Islamic dress is compulsory as per the report by AP.

The minister, Abdul Baqi Haqqani, announced the new policies at a news conference on Sunday, several days after Afghanistan’s new rulers formed an all-male, all-Taliban government. Haqqani said, “the female university students would be required to wear a hijab but did not elaborate on whether this only meant a compulsory headscarf or also mandatory face coverings.”

The world has been watching closely to see how the Taliban might act differently as when it was last in power from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban imposed harsh rules and often punished people with public floggings, amputations, and executions. According to the Taliban, they have changed their behaviour towards women, but it was also seen in recent days that they have used violence against women who were protesting for their equal rights.

Haqqani said the Taliban did not want to turn the clock back 20 years. “We will start building on what exists today.” However, female university students will face restrictions under the Taliban, including a compulsory dress code.  Gender segregation will also be enforced, he said. “We are not going to allow boys and girls to study together, We will not allow co-education,” Haqqani said the subjects being taught in universities would also be reviewed but did not elaborate.

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