KABUL: Afghan women can continue their studies at universities, including postgraduate level, but classrooms will be gender-segregated and Islamic dress will be compulsory, the new Taliban government’s higher education minister said on Sunday.

A few days after the new rulers of Afghanistan formed an all-male government, Minister Abdul Baki Haqqani presented the new policy at a press conference. On Saturday, the Taliban hoisted their flag over the presidential palace, signaling the start of work for the new government.



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The world is watching closely to see how the Taliban can act differently in their power than they did for the first time in the late 1990s. In that era, girls and women were deprived of education and excluded from public life. The Taliban have suggested that they have changed their attitude towards women. However, women’s sports have been banned and the Taliban has used violence against women protesters in recent days to demand equal rights.

Haqqani said the Taliban did not want to turn the clock back 20 years. “We’ll start building on what we have today,” he said.

However, female university students will face restrictions, including a mandatory dress code. Haqqani said the hijab would be mandatory but did not specify what it meant to make a mandatory head scarf or face covering mandatory.


He said gender segregation would also be implemented. “We will not allow boys and girls to study together,” he said. We will not allow co-education.

Haqqani said the subjects being taught would also be reviewed. Although he did not elaborate, he said he wanted university graduates from Afghanistan to be competitive with university graduates from the region and the rest of the world.

The Taliban, who are members of the strict interpretation of Islam, banned music and art during their previous rule. This time around television remained close and news channels still showed female presenters, but Taliban messages were erratic.

In an interview with Afghanistan’s popular Tolo News, Taliban spokesman Syed Jakrullah Hashmi said women should give birth and raise children, and that the Taliban did not deny women’s participation in government. ”


The Taliban seized power on August 15, the day they seized control of the remote province of Kabul after a quick military operation. They initially promised inclusive and general amnesty for their former opponents, but many Afghans are deeply afraid of the new rulers. Taliban police officers have beaten Afghan journalists, violently dispersed women’s protests and formed an all-male government, initially inviting greater representation.

The new higher education policy signals a change from the habits adopted before the Taliban took over. Universities were co-ed, where male and female students studied side by side and female students did not have to adhere to a dress code. However, most of the university students prefer to wear a head scarf in keeping with the tradition.

In primary and high school, boys and girls were taught separately, even before the Taliban came to power. In high school, girls had to wear tunics up to their knees and a white head scarf, and jeans, makeup and jewelry were not allowed.

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