Taliban banishes females from Afghan universities ‘with immediate effect’

Image of the Afghan and Taliban flags. Credit: Leonid Altman/Shutterstock.com

Females have been banished from Afghan universities ‘with immediate effect’ by the Taliban.


The Taliban ordered the expulsion of women from all universities in Afghanistan with immediate effect this Tuesday, December 20. Girls made up the majority of many Afghan faculties, both public and private, but they will not be able to step on them again ‘until further notice’.

Universities across the country were instructed by a spokesman for the Ministry of Higher Education to close their doors to women ‘in the shortest possible time’. Once they had done so, they were told they should inform the authorities.

Mohamed Khalid Hanafi, the Minister for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, recently justified that adolescents were the only ones excluded from the classroom after the rise of the Taliban two summers ago. “The essential atmosphere of decency still does not exist”, he declared.

U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken tweeted: “Deeply dismayed by the announcement from the Taliban denying women the right to a university education. Afghan women deserve better. Afghanistan deserves better. The Taliban have just definitively set back their objective of being accepted by the international community”.

Far from loosening up, his sharia-inspired movement has just extended the exclusion to its elders. Last October a Taliban spokesman said he considered the reopening of women’s classrooms in public secondary schools ‘inevitable’. Since then, all the changes for women have been for the worse, and today’s is the last straw.

“We have remained silent. Hope has been taken from us and we don’t know what awaits us”, Madina, a student, confessed to France Presse. The real scope of the measure will not be seen until March though, as the winter school holidays have already started.

Last month, the Taliban’s Supreme Guide, the cleric Haibatulah Ajundzada, urged judges to apply sharia law in an exemplary manner for certain crimes. As a result, public executions returned last week.

Several ministers gathered near the city of Herat because they wanted to witness, together with the crowd, a father fire three shots into the head of the criminal who several years earlier had murdered his son. An eye for an eye system that some prefer to the crime and corruption attributed to the previous government.

Although the Taliban have shown considerable leniency towards their former enemies during twenty years of war, when it comes to women they have definitely dropped the mask. Those who could do something for them, for their ascendancy over the fundamentalist movement – be it with the stick or the carrot – are also failing them.

Despite the fact that Afghanistan is bankrupt, the Taliban do not miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity, much to the frustration of several of their would-be backers.

That does not include the United States, although today Washington celebrated the release of two Americans held by the Taliban. Little was revealed, beyond the fact that they were already travelling to Qatar.

According to the State Department, today’s event was “not a prisoner exchange, nor has there been money involved. We see this as a goodwill gesture by the Taliban”, commented spokesman Ned Price, as reported by lavanguardia.com.


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Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]