Taliban defends its decision to ban women from universities as protests emerge

The Afghan government run by the Taliban is now defending its decision to ban women from universities as the protests in the country are intensifying followed by global outrage. Earlier this week, the Afghan minister of higher education announced that women in Afghanistan are prohibited from universities. This means that they will not be able to pursue higher education, which has triggered a global outrage against the Taliban. The Taliban, however, said that their decision to restrict women from universities was based on female students not following the Islamic dress code and their continuous interaction with male students. 

The Taliban has always acted adversely when it comes to women's rights and their empowerment. There are many instances where the Taliban have made decisions that oppress women and rob them of their rights. Because of this, the Taliban has been criticized globally several times. Earlier, the Taliban banned girls from attending schools, saying that the schools were not following Islamic codes. Later the Taliban said that the girls appearing in the final year of school will be able to attend the entrance exams for the universities. But when girls went to attend the university entrance exam, they found out that there were only a handful of subjects to choose from. On Wednesday, the female students were restricted to enter the universities until further notice, as per the government orders. 

This decision of the Afghan government has now started protests as women in Kabul gathered at Kabul University. These women were furious and united against the decision of the Taliban government as they chanted, “All or none. Don’t be afraid. We are together,” to fight against this outrageous decision of the Taliban to prevent women from universities. These women were gathering and protesting for their freedom and equality, as the Taliban has always acted against it. But as told by the locals, the government used force and violence to fend off these protesting women and to halt their protests. They said that many women who were protesting peacefully, were beaten by the authorities and some have even been arrested for protesting. The Taliban forces even brought military force to restrict and arrest the protesting women. 

The US has been actively addressing the Taliban government regarding its stand in the situation. Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, said that the Taliban is trying to force phones into a future that is dark and deficient in opportunities, by preventing them from having access to education. He further added that the women in the Taliban deserve a better future and by imposing such decisions, the Taliban have propelled itself farther from its objective of international acceptance. On the other hand, Neda Mohammad Nadeem, the Higher Education Minister of the Afghan government, said that other countries should not interfere in the matters of their country. He said the girls were advised to wear hijab but they were dressing like they were attending a wedding ceremony. Regarding restrictions to technology, science, and journalism courses, Neda Mohammad Nadeem said that the Islamic culture does not allow women to learn in these areas and it goes against the honor of Islamic women.