Women can study in gender-segregated universities, says Taliban


Women in Afghanistan will be allowed to study in universities as the country seeks to rebuild after decades of war but gender-segregation and Islamic dress code will be mandatory.

The Taliban’s new Higher Education minister, Abdul Baqi Haqqani said on Sunday, that the group would turn back to the draconian rule that defined its first stint in power in Afghanistan 20 years ago. That included the denial of education for girls and women, as well as their exclusion from public life.

“We will start building on what exists today, maintaining the Taliban’s position that its attitudes, particularly towards women, have shifted in the past 20 years,” Haqqani said.

Despite the Taliban’s posturing, women have been banned from sports and the Taliban has used violence in recent days against female protesters demanding equal rights.

Haqqani said, female university students will face restrictions that include a compulsory dress code. He said hijabs will be mandatory but did not specify if this meant compulsory headscarves or also compulsory face coverings.

“We will not allow boys and girls to study together, we will not allow co-education.”

He said gender segregation will also be enforced and female students would be taught by women wherever possible.

“Thanks to God we have a high number of women teachers. We will not face any problems in this.
All efforts will be made to find and provide women teachers for female students.

“When there is really a need, men can also teach women but in accordance with sharia, they should observe the veil,” he said.

Classrooms would be curtained off to divide male and female students where necessary and teaching could also be done through streaming or closed circuit TV.

Haqqani said the subjects being taught would also be reviewed.

READ ALSO: Taliban announces new government in Afghanistan


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