Taliban closes all universities to women “until further notice”

Afghan female students stand in a queue after they arrive for entrance exams at Kabul University in Kabul on October 13, 2022. (Photo by Wakil KOHSAR / AFP) (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)
Afghan female students stand in a queue after they arrive for entrance exams at Kabul University in Kabul on October 13, 2022. (Photo by Wakil KOHSAR / AFP) (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN Correspondent Annyatama Bhowmik
UPDATED 12:47 PM PT – Tuesday, December 20, 2022

The Taliban has ordered an indefinite ban on university education for Afghan girls.

On Tuesday, the Higher Education Minister Neda Mohammad Nadeem signed a letter that implemented to all government and private universities that the order must go into effect immediately. It will be in place until further notice.

“You all are informed to implement the mentioned order of suspending education of females until further notice,” the letter stated.

After the hardline Islamists took over the country last year, universities were forced to implement new rules. The rules included gender-segregated classrooms and entrances. In addition, women were only permitted to be taught by female professors or old men.

This is not the first restriction being put on women. In November, Taliban authorities banned women from parks, claiming it was a violation of the Islamic law. The Taliban also implemented restrictions on females traveling without a male relative and a mandate requiring women to cover their faces with a burqa when outside of their homes.

The ban on higher education comes three months after thousands of women across the country were forced to take an entrance exam in order to be eligible for higher education. The restriction was imposed on subjects such as veterinary science, engineering, economics and agriculture. Journalism was a deal breaker.

Although they have not provided a deadline, the Taliban insisted that they are working on a plan for secondary education for girls.

During a briefing, the United Nations Security Council, Ambassador Robert Wood, responded to the Taliban’s choice.

“The United States condemns in the strongest terms this absolutely indefensible position,” Wood said. “The Taliban cannot expect to be a legitimate member of the international community until they respect the rights of all Afghans, especially the human rights and fundamental freedoms of women and girls. We will continue to work with this Council to speak with one voice on this issue.”

Primary education continues to remains open for all children.