‘Men not allowed to teach girls in Afghanistan’: Taliban issue new diktat

Kabul: Backtracking from its assurances to respect women’s rights in Afghanistan, the Taliban, who are set to form a new government in the war-ravaged country, have announced a ban on coeducation.

This comes a day after Shaikh Abdulbaqi Haqqani was appointed as the Acting Minister of higher education in Afghanistan. According to a Khaama Press report, Taliban officials in Afghanistan`s western Herat province had last week ordered that girls will no longer be allowed to sit in the same classes as boys in universities. 

Taliban officials had said that there is no alternative justification for continuing co-education and the practice must be halted. The newly appointed education minister has said that education activities will take place according to Sharia Law.

Many people have decried this move, which is set to deprive girls of higher education as major universities in the country cannot afford to provide different classes due to a dearth of resources.

“Taliban officially announce ban on coeducation. Men not allowed to teach girls,’ Taliban Higher Education Minister says – This will effectively deprive girls from higher education because universities cannot afford it nor there are enough human resources,” Afghan journalist Bashir Ahmad Gwakh said in a Twitter posting.

According to Gwakh, the Taliban higher education minister Baqi Haqqani during a speech at Loya Jirga Tent had added that all educational activities in the country will be conducted according to Sharia Law.

According to the rights group Taliban Watch, last week private universities owners objected to the Taliban order of separating girls from boys and told the authorities in a meeting that there aren`t enough female teachers. 

Earlier this month, in its first-ever presser after taking over Kabul, the Taliban had assured that the group is committed to providing women with their rights based on Islam.

“Taliban are committed to providing women with their rights based on Islam. Women can work in the health sector and other sectors where they are needed. There will be no discrimination against women,” said Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid.

As the Taliban took control of Afghanistan once again after 20 years, experts believe that Afghan women are most likely to face an uncertain future under the terrorist group regime.

The Taliban`s seizure of the war-torn country came after international forces withdrew from Afghanistan, with the United States officially beginning its departure back in May and now it`s on the verge of ending its military mission.

Dr Sajjan Gohel, a security and terrorism analyst said that women are scared out of their (Taliban) minds, according to Four Nine, a prominent women’s magazine in the West.

“From the Afghan women I`ve spoken to, it`s incredibly traumatic. You`re looking at an entire generation who only read about the Taliban in books. Now, they`re having to live side-by-side with what is effectively a misogynistic cult.” Dr Gohel added.

He also said that he believes we are going to see a return “to some degree of what we saw in the 1990s”. 

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