Taliban Bans Afghan Women From Higher Education

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Alexa Schwerha Contributor
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The Taliban government announced Tuesday that it would bar women from attending university classes, Reuters reported.

Afghan colleges and universities were instructed in a letter to deny access to women and girls effective immediately, a spokesperson for the higher education ministry reportedly confirmed. The Taliban prohibited girls from attending secondary school in March, despite previously promising that the schools would remain open so long as they were segregated by sex.

The decision came the same evening as the U.N. Security Counsel session on Afghanistan, during which Roza Otunbayeva, U.N. secretary-general’s special representative for Afghanistan, claimed that the decision “undermined” the Taliban government’s international relations. (RELATED: Taliban Asks Women To Stay Home Because Their Fighters ‘Have Not Been Yet Trained’ To Respect Them)

“As long as girls remain excluded from school and the de facto authorities continue to disregard other stated concerns of the international community, we remain at something of an impasse,” she said, according to Reuters.

Multiple foreign governments, including the United States, have refrained from officially recognizing the Taliban administration until it reverses its stance on women’s education, Reuters reported.

Human Rights Watch, which “investigates and reports on abuses happening in all corners of the world,” called the Tuesday announcement a “shameful decision that violates the right to education for women and girls in Afghanistan” which showed that the Taliban does not “respect the fundamental rights of Afghans, especially women,” according to CNN.

The decision further restricts women’s rights in Afghanistan, which are largely interpreted from Sharia law. Women in Afghanistan cannot frequent gyms and parks, must wear full body clothing while in public and cannot travel without a male relative.

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