The Taliban has banned women from attending classes or working at Kabul University “until an Islamic environment is created.”
Taliban-appointed university chancellor Mohammad Ashraf Ghairat announced the news on Twitter today, in the new government’s latest move to threaten women’s rights.
“I give you my words as Chancellor of Kabul University,” Ghairat wrote. ‘As long as a genuine Islamic environment is not provided for everyone, women are not allowed to go to universities or work. Islam first.’
Women were allowed to continue their university education after the Taliban takeover on August 15, provided they learned in segregated classrooms and covered themselves according to the group’s interpretation of sharia.
But female students were not sent back to high schools when boys were sent back earlier this month, despite already going back to elementary school.
The Taliban have barred women from attending classes or working at Kabul University “until an Islamic environment is created” (pictured, women attend a pro-Taliban program at Kabul University on Sept. 11)
Taliban-appointed university chancellor Mohammad Ashraf Ghairat announced the news on Twitter today, in the new government’s latest move to threaten women’s rights
The announcement came a day after Ghairat said the university was trying to find a way for male teachers to train female students due to a “shortage of female teachers.”
He said male professors should teach female students from behind a screen in a classroom to maintain “an Islamic learning environment for women.”
Meanwhile, Ghairat said the university, which ranks 8,213 worldwide, would aim to become “a hub for all genuine Muslims around the world to collect, research, study and Islamize modern science.”
“I am here to announce that under the IEA we will welcome pro-Islamic scholars and students to take advantage of a truly Islamic environment at KU.”
It is the latest sign that the Taliban have no intention of imposing a softer rule than the repressive regime of the 1990s, despite promising to do so last month in front of the international community.
Under the Taliban regime in the 1990s, women were usually banned from education and employment and were not allowed to leave the home unless accompanied by a male relative.
Since a US-led invasion ousted the Taliban in 2001, significant progress has been made in girls’ education: the number of schools has tripled and female literacy has nearly doubled to 30 percent, although the change has largely been confined to the cities.
The United Nations has said it is “deeply concerned” about the future of girls’ education after the Islamists take over Afghanistan and called on the group to allow female students and teachers to resume education.
Since a US-led invasion ousted the Taliban in 2001, significant progress has been made in girls’ education: the number of schools has tripled and female literacy has nearly doubled to 30 percent, although the change has largely been confined to the cities. .
The announcement is the latest sign that the Taliban have no intention of imposing a softer form of rule than the repressive regime in the 1990s, despite promising to do so in front of the international community last month
Though still marginalized, Afghan women have spent the past 20 years fighting for and acquiring basic rights, becoming legislators, judges, pilots and police officers.
Hundreds of thousands have gone to work — a necessity in some cases as many women were widowed or now support disabled husbands as a result of decades of conflict.
The Taliban have shown little inclination to uphold those rights – no women have entered the government and many have stopped returning to work.
Earlier this month, the Taliban ordered male students back to secondary schools and universities — primary schools had already reopened for girls and boys — but made no mention of women returning.
The Islamists also closed the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and repurposed the building as the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice – known as the infamous Morality Police.
Hundreds of women have taken to the streets to protest the Taliban’s crackdown on their rights, but the demonstrations have been violently crushed by militants who beat female activists and fired shots into the air during rallies.
The group also tried to “temporarily” ban unauthorized demonstrations after images surfaced online of women defying the group’s order to stay at home.
Earlier this month, the Taliban ordered male students back to high schools and universities — primary schools had already reopened to girls and boys — but made no mention of women returning.
Meanwhile, the Taliban said today that they will temporarily adopt a 1964 constitution that gives women the right to vote, but eliminates any elements with which they disagree.
The Taliban’s acting justice minister issued a statement saying the Islamists planned to enact a constitution used during Afghanistan’s short-lived golden age of democracy, but only briefly and with amendments.
“The Islamic Emirate will adopt the constitution of the former King Mohammad Zahir Shah for a temporary period,” said Mawlavi Abdul Hakim Sharaee.
But anything in the text that would violate Sharia law and Islamic emirate principles would be thrown out, he added.
Nearly six decades ago, before the world’s superpowers intervened in the country, Afghanistan enjoyed a brief period of constitutional monarchy during the reign of King Mohammad Zahir Shah.
The king ratified the constitution a year after he came to power in 1963, ushering in nearly a decade of parliamentary democracy before being ousted in 1973.
The 1964 constitution, which gave women the right to vote for the first time and opened the doors to greater participation in politics, seemed to fit awkwardly with the hardline views of the Taliban.