Afghanistan: women will be able to study, but separated from men

Afghan women will be able to study at university but coeducation will be prohibitedsaid Taliban Minister of Higher Education Abdul Baqi Haqqani. The radical Islamist group that took power in mid-August after unseating the Afghan government promised to act differently than it did. in his previous period between 1996 and 2001, when girls and women were forbidden to go to school.

“The people of Afghanistan will continue to have higher education according to the rules of sharia (Islamic law) that prohibits mixed classes”Haqqani said at a meeting with older men, known as the loya jirga, on Sunday. The minister said that the Taliban require “to create a reasonable educational program that is consistent with our Islamic, national and historical values.”

Young people of both sexes will be segregated in primary and secondary schools, something common in a country as conservative as Afghanistan. The Taliban advocate respecting advances in women’s rights, but only according to their strict interpretation of Islamic law.

No women were present at Sunday’s meeting in Kabul, which was attended by other senior Taliban officials. The insurgent movement minister “only spoke with male teachers and students,” said a student who worked in the university town during the last government. The young woman, who requested anonymity, said that this shows “the systematic prevention of the participation of women in decisions” and “the distance between the words of the Taliban and their actions.”

During their previous repressive rule, the Taliban excluded women from public life, entertainment was banned, and dire punishments such as stoning to death were imposed on adulteresses.

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