Taliban bans women from Afghan universities

The Taliban has taken their most controversial decision after coming into power, by banning women from Afghan universities. This decision was conveyed by the Education Minister of the Afghan government, which concluded that women will be prohibited in the universities. According to the Afghan Education Minister, the move will take effect immediately, thus excluding women from any formal education. Women in Afghanistan were already excluded from secondary education in schools on the grounds of preserving Afghanistan’s cultural values and respecting their honor. This time, the Taliban have given similar reasons when their decision was criticized by the US and the UK administration. Taliban said that by preventing women from attending universities, they are preserving the country’s cultural values and the honor of Afghan women. Despite the Afghan government's explanation of preserving women’s honor, female students, ambitious toward their future, are in despair as now they have been completely shut off from the education system. 

The Afghanistan government or the Taliban has always been against the freedom of women and their free will of choosing how they want to live their lives. There are many controversial decisions by the Taliban which have cast restrictions on women in the country. In October, when entrance exams were held across the country, the Taliban banned many university subjects for women. Women who appeared for entrance exams in the country when they reached examination centers, realized that there were only a handful of subjects to select. Before this incident, the Taliban had banned girls from attending schools. The reason which was given for this decision was that the schools are being closed for girls until the schools can impose a correct Islamic environment. After some retaliation from the population, the Taliban said that girls who are in the final year of school, can attend the entrance exams from universities. But at the time of entrance exams, girls got to know that they only have limited subjects to choose from if they want to pursue a university education. The Taliban had banned many subjects such as veterinary science, engineering, economics and agriculture, and journalism. Many universities have even started to put curtains in classrooms to separate male and female students in the classroom. Through such restrictions, the education system in Afghanistan has been excluding women slowly to have access to education. 

Female students in Afghanistan have been reacting to this news with heavy hearts as this has almost put an end to their dreams. For many Afghan women, education represents a key to rising above the Taliban rulings, but now that the system has cast them out, this dream of theirs to stand on their own feet has become foggy and unclear. Many foreign agencies which were financially sup[porting the education system in Afghanistan, are now pulling their support away as the Taliban has banned women from schools and colleges. When the Taliban came into power in Afghanistan, the US and other countries told the Taliban that they will recognize their position as the Afghan government only if they continue supporting women's rights and their education. But now that the Taliban has discontinued its support for women's education, this seems to create many problems for the country regarding foreign support and recognition.