Taliban government restricts access to university for Afghan women

September 13, 2021 by archyde

Taliban government restricts access to university for Afghan women

Veiled students wave the Taliban flag at Kabul University on September 11, 2021. AAMIR QURESHI / AFP

Disappearing behind his large office as president of the Faculty of Economics of Mazar-e Charif (northern Afghanistan), a post landed after thirty-six years of career, Abdul Jalil Naikjo does not want to lose this Grail because of an inappropriate remark. Having noted that he was questioned on Saturday, September 11, in the presence of a “special envoy” from the Taliban information ministry, he weighs his every word. “I am happy, and the students too, for the change of government, he just needs to tell us how to respect Sharia law and everything will be fine. Before, there was insecurity and crime, now society is peaceful. The only concern, it is only economic, we have been without pay for two months », he blurted out, seized with nervous tics, visibly under tension.

On Sunday, his wish was partially granted. Taliban government higher education minister Abdul Baqi Haqqani said Afghan women who so wish will be allowed to study at the university. He added, however, that in accordance with Sharia law, the mix of courses will be ended and that students will be educated, as far as possible, by female teachers. Finally, young women will have to wear the full veil, either the niqab, which only lets you see the eyes, or the burqa, which bars the face with a fabric grid. On the other hand, the minister indicated that it would take several months before the programs were modified in accordance with Islamic law.

Read the report: In Mazar-e Charif, Afghan women, the last bulwark against the Taliban

The University of Mazar-e Charif will therefore remain closed for some time. Only a few program directors, like Mr. Naikjo, and security guards will continue to come. Spread over three sites, it normally concentrates most of the students on the campus located on the outskirts of the city, which can accommodate 10,000 of the 18,000 students in total and a good part of the 700 employees, administrators and teachers. The entrance gate is, for the time being, in the custody of two armed Taliban who search visitors, while this practice has disappeared in the country.

“If the private universities of Mazar have already resumed their courses, it is because they only live on funds paid by students and patrons, they were going to go bankrupt”, explains Ahmad Wazir Safi, a 30-year-old Taliban, former professor of English and computer science, in charge of higher education for the six provinces of northern Afghanistan. ” Most, he wants to clarify, they have implemented protocols that respect Sharia law. ” Separations have been installed in the classrooms. “We will soon reopen the government university, he assures, we must first find a way to secure the journey for students between their home and the university, we are thinking of buses. “

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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my