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Suspension of Continuing Education for Girls in Public & Private Universities

By: Hekamatullah Aziz

AT Kabul:

On Tuesday evening, December 20, 2022, a letter signed by Mawlavi Neda Mohammad Nadeem, Acting Minister of Higher Education, was published on social media pages and in some media outlets, in which an immediate order was given to suspend the education of girls in universities across the country until further notice.

Some media outlets have reported that Ziaullah Hashemi, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Higher Education, has confirmed this letter.

Following the release of the Taliban’s decision on Tuesday, December 20th, to suspend the continuation of girls’ education in public and private universities, the representatives of various countries and international organizations reacted and condemned it.

In this letter, the Ministry of Higher Education stated that, according to the decision of the Cabinet of the Taliban government on the 19th of December, the continuation of the education of girls in these universities “is closed until further notice.”

The text of this letter issued by the Ministry of Higher Education is as follows:

To all emirate and private institutions and universities!

Peace be upon you and God’s mercy and blessings

May Almighty Allah make you successful in all your affairs.

Based on the decision dates 1443 AH (2022), No. 28 of the Cabinet, you are all informed to immediately act on this order (women’s education is suspended until further notice) and inform the ministry about your actions.

regards

Sheikh Mawlavi Neda Mohammad Nadeem

Acting Minister of Higher Education

The description of this letter is as follows:

“You are all informed to immediately implement the mentioned order of suspending female education until further notice,” said a letter signed by the Minister of Higher Education, Neda Mohammad Nadeem, sent to all government and private universities. 

However, after the resumption of the Islamic Emirate, girls above the sixth grade were also banned from going to school, and following this decision, there were widespread domestic and global reactions.

Only an hour after the publication of the Ministry of Education’s order banning girls’ education, Human Rights Watch called it “shameful” and a violation of Afghan girls’ right to education.

Witnesses say that on December 21, 2022, Taliban soldiers with tanks and guns were in front of the gate of the Education University of Kabul. Also today, on December 22, many Taliban forces were placed with tanks in front of the gates of Kabul University and Syed Jamaluddin University to prevent the entry of girls to their classes.

Rahim Rahimi, the founder and head of Atarud English Institute, says: “Our courses were verbally told this morning by Taliban soldiers to prevent girls from entering the course.”

Hugo Shorter, The Chargé d’Affaires UK Mission to Afghanistan, has written that “The UK strongly condemns this latest move by the Taliban. A serious blow to Afghanistan‘s people, economic prospects, and stability.”

Mr. Chartres also said that Britain will continue to support Afghan women and girls in cooperation with all international partners.

“The United States condemns in the strongest terms the Taliban’s indefensible decision to ban women from universities, to keep secondary schools closed to girls and to continue to impose other restrictions on the ability of women and girls in Afghanistan to exercise their human rights and their fundamental freedoms,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

Lord Tariq Ahmed, General Director of the Middle East and the United Nations of the British Foreign Ministry also made similar statements while condemning this decision of the Taliban and said “Appalled by the Taliban’s further restrictions on women attending university: there is absolutely NO religious or moral basis for such violations of educational rights. This will further undermine #Afghanistan’s fragile economy & security, & grievously impact Afghan families.”

Among the internal reactions, the protests of the male students of Nangarhar University in the faculty of medicine attract people on social media. The male students in the mentioned faculty dropped out of the exam stage, and they have stated that they will not take the exam until female students are permitted.

Both male and female students started a protest rally at Nangarhar University with the slogan “Either everyone or nobody.”

Pictures and videos posted on social media show a number of female students leaving classrooms in Kandahar province.

In this video, while the male students are passing the exam, the female students leave the university in tears. saying, “The doors of all universities across Afghanistan were closed to girls.”

This video goes hand in hand with the same voices on social networks.

Also on the 21st of December, videos of a number of female students standing behind the gates of Kabul and Takhar universities while they were not allowed to enter the universities were published on social media in Afghanistan.

It should be mentioned that Obaidullah Wardak, one of the professors at Kabul University, also resigned from his position in protest against this decision of the Taliban.

He wrote on his page, “He knows that this decision is not appropriate, but in the form of protest, this is the only thing he could do.”

By Wednesday evening, social media reported the resignation of 16 professors from various Afghan universities. 

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