Afghan universities reopened on Monday after a winter break, however solely males returned to class with a “heartbreaking” ban by the Taliban authorities on girls in greater schooling nonetheless in drive.
The college ban is one in all a number of restrictions imposed on girls for the reason that Taliban stormed again to energy in August 2021 and has sparked international outrage — together with throughout the Muslim world.
“It’s heartbreaking to see boys going to the college whereas now we have to remain at house,” mentioned Rahela, 22, from the central province of Ghor.
“That is gender discrimination towards ladies as a result of Islam permits us to pursue greater schooling. No one ought to cease us from studying.”
The Taliban authorities imposed the ban after accusing girls 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 lecture rooms, in addition to permitting girls to be taught solely by feminine professors or aged males.
“It’s painful to see that hundreds of women are disadvantaged of schooling in the present day,” Mohammad Haseeb Habibzadah, a pupil of laptop science at Herat college, advised AFP.
“We are attempting to deal with this subject by speaking to lecturers and different college students in order that there generally is a means the place girls and boys may research and progress collectively.”
Ejatullah Nejati, an engineering pupil at Kabul College, Afghanistan’s largest, mentioned it was a elementary proper of girls to review.
“Even when they attend lessons on separate days, it’s not an issue. They’ve a proper to schooling and that proper ought to be given to them,” he mentioned as he entered the college campus.
Waheeda Durrani, a journalism pupil in Herat till she was barred from college final yr, mentioned the Taliban authorities wished girls to stay uneducated.
“If Afghan women and girls get educated, they are going to by no means settle for a authorities that exploits Islam and the Koran,” she mentioned.
“They’ll stand for his or her rights. That’s the concern the federal government has.”
On the capital’s personal Rana college, male college students trickled again to lessons on Monday.
“My sister, sadly, can’t come to the college. She is attempting to review at house,” mentioned Ebratullah Rahimi, one other journalism pupil.
Posters relationship from earlier than the ban exhibiting how girls wanted to decorate had been nonetheless on show within the college corridors.
A number of Taliban officers say the ban on girls’s schooling is short-term however, regardless of guarantees, they’ve did not reopen secondary colleges for women, which have been closed for greater than a yr.
The authorities have wheeled out a litany of excuses for the closure, from a scarcity of funds to the time wanted to transform the syllabus alongside Islamic traces.
The truth, in accordance with some Taliban officers, is that the ultra-conservative clerics advising Afghanistan’s supreme chief Hibatullah Akhundzada are deeply sceptical of contemporary schooling for ladies.
Taliban authorities have successfully squeezed girls out of public life since retaking energy.
Ladies have been faraway from many authorities jobs or are paid a fraction of their former wage to remain at house.
They’re additionally barred from going to parks, gala’s, gyms and public baths, and should cowl up in public.
Rights teams have condemned the restrictions, which the United Nations referred to as “gender-based apartheid”.
The worldwide neighborhood has made the appropriate to schooling for ladies a sticking level in negotiations over help and recognition of the Taliban authorities.
No nation has up to now formally recognised the Taliban as Afghanistan’s professional rulers.