Women in Afghanistan have recently been refrained from pursuing their higher education in Universities by the Taliban leaders.
According to a letter issued to all the universities in Afghanistan the higher education institutions were ordered to suspend the education for Afghani women until further notice. “You all are informed to implement the mentioned order of suspending education of females until further notice” said the letter which was signed by Minister for Higher Education Neda Mohammad Nadeem.
The recent prohibition order is now facing a lot of international criticisms as the order stands in a place of counterstatement to the announcements made by the Taliban when they took over Afghanistan in August last year after ousting the then government saying that the women in Afghanistan were not going to face any inequalities or disadvantages. One of the Taliban spokesperson had confirmed that the group was committed to providing them rights based on Islamic law.
On October 13, around 3 months before the announcement women in Kabul had appeared for a university entrance test. The exam took place amid bans in several occupations for women and also a ban in secondary education for girls.
What the UN says
The UN is concerned about threats the move by Taliban poses on the national development of Afghanistan. UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a statement to a news agency “We have seen since their takeover a lessening of space for women, not only in education, but access to public areas. It’s another very troubling move and it’s difficult to imagine how a country can develop, can deal with all of the challenges that it has without the active participation of women and their education.”
Similar concerns were expressed by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres when he also said that it was a violation of basic rights.
What the US says
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement on Tuesday “The US condemns in the strongest terms the Taliban’s indefensible decision to ban women from universities, keep secondary schools closed to girls, and continue to impose other restrictions on the ability of women and girls in Afghanistan to exercise their human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
Blinken underlines the fact of education as a major human right. He said that an equal opportunity for education to women would be important for the stability and future development and the recent move by Taliban obviates the possibility for Taliban to become a legitimate member of the international community unless there was uniformity of rights in Afghanistan.
He warns Afghanistan of the consequences. Blinken insists that the US will continue to provide support to the people in Afghanistan. He says that US will form organizations with its allies in order to fight for the rights of Afghani people.
A month after the Taliban had conquered Afghanistan last year, high schools were ordered to not allow girls to attend the classes. It was being apprehended that Taliban is using similar manoeuvres as it did in the 1990s.