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Universities reopen in Afghanistan but without female students


Kabul: Universities opened across Afghanistan on Monday but women students remained barred from entering the premises to pursue education.

“According to a decision by the Supreme Council for Higher Education, studies of the male students at governmental higher education institutions in the colder provinces will officially start from [March 6] of the current year,” read a statement by the Afghanistan Ministry of Higher Education.

Universities and schools in Afghanistan go on a winter break in nearly 24 provinces every year. Up until last year, women were allowed to continue with their education but then barred from university education.

“It’s heartbreaking to see boys going to the university while we have to stay at home. This is gender discrimination against girls because Islam allows us to pursue higher education. Nobody should stop us from learning, “a university student was quoted as saying by AFP.

In December last year, the authorities sent a letter to all public and private colleges announcing the indefinite ban on Afghan girls attending educational institutions.

The reason cited for the ban was that women students had failed to appropriately observe gender-based religious restrictions.

Whenever the international community confronts the Taliban about its stance, the authorities remark that the ban is temporary.

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