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Taliban defends closing universities to women despite global outcry


Kabul: The Taliban government’s education minister has defended the decision to impose an indefinite ban on university education for women in Afghanistan despite the international outcry.

Speaking to Afghan state broadcaster RTA on Thursday, he said that several issues had prompted the decision, including female students’ not wearing appropriate outfit and interaction between students of different genders.

The decision was announced on Tuesday by the Taliban’s ministry of higher education, saying it would take immediate effect.

Demonstrations broke out in Kabul after female students were turned away from university campuses. The higher education ministry had sent letters to the universities, saying their access would be suspended “until further notice.”

Female protesters gathered outside Kabul University with placards in their hands that read “Education is our right, universities should be opened.” They chanted “All or none. Don’t be afraid. We are together.”

In northeastern Takhar province, teenage girls said the Taliban forced them out of a private education training center and told them they no longer had the right to study.

Meanwhile today dozens of women in reactions regarding the suspension of girls’ education in Afghan universities protested in Herat city, but the Taliban prevented the spread of these demonstrations.

Richard Bennett, the special rapporteur of the United Nations Human Rights Council, said in a tweet that the suspension of women from university marks a new low further violating the right to equal education and deepens the erasure of women from Afghan society.

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