A group of women took to the streets in the Afghan city of Herat on Saturday to protest the Taliban’s order this week to suspend the education of all female students. he studies at the university in the country.
Video footage circulating on social media shows Taliban officials using water cannons to disperse female protesters.
The girls could be seen running away from the water cannons and calling the officers “cowards”.
The Taliban announced this week suspension of university studies for the female students was the latest step in the ongoing crackdown on the freedoms of Afghan women.
The move came after the group promised to respect women’s rights when it returned to power last year.
This follows a similar move in March this year which banned girls from returning to secondary schools.
Male students studying at universities in various parts of the country have responded by boycotting their exams in protest against the recent education ban.
“Education is the duty of men and women,” said a statement from the Mirwais Nika Institute of Higher Education in Kandahar on Saturday. “This is the main right and secret of the country’s development and self-reliance.”
Students initially asked Taliban officials to lift the ban, but there was no “positive response,” the school said, adding that “discontent and unhappiness” fueled the boycott.
A university official told CNN that the students’ decision to boycott the entrance exams will lead to the suspension of classes.
The Taliban stormed back to power in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of US troops in August 2021, having previously ruled the country from 1996 to 2001 – ousted by a US-led invasion.
During its previous reign, the group was notorious for treating women as second-class citizens.
Since taking power last year, the group has made numerous promises to protect the rights of women and girls.
But activists say the Taliban are reneging on their promises and taking away women’s freedoms once again.
Saturday group ordered all local and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the country should prevent women workers from going to work. The ministry’s official notice says that non-compliance will result in cancellation of NGO licenses.
The spokesman told CNN that the move was due to non-compliance with Islamic dress codes and other laws and regulations of the Islamic Emirate.
Afghan women are no longer able to work in most sectors.
Their travel rights are also severely restricted and access to public places is significantly restricted. Women are required to cover their faces completely, including in public.
Leave a Comment