Saturday , February 4 2023

Taliban use water cannon on women opposing university ban

25-12-2022

By SJA Jafri + Bureau Report

KABUL/ ISLAMABAD: The Taliban have used a water cannon to disperse a group of women protesting against the ban on female students in Afghanistan attending university.

Video on social media shows women taking cover in a lane in the city of Herat to escape a stream of water.

Dozens of women holding a protest march could be heard shouting slogans including: “Education is our right”.

In one clip, women could be heard shouting: “The Taliban are cowards.”

Women have also been banned from working for national and international NGOs, confirmed Abdel Rahman Habib, spokesman for the ministry of economy.

He said a letter had been sent to NGOs imposing a ban “until further notice” and offered the reason that women were not following Sharia law with respect to their wearing of the hijab.

Earlier this week, the Taliban’s ban on female students attending higher education triggered an international outcry.

The Taliban said women had not been wearing appropriate Islamic attire at university and had been interacting with their male counterparts.

The new ban was implemented with immediate effect by Higher Education Minister Neda Mohammad Nadeem on Tuesday, with public and private universities ordered to bar women from attending.

Nadeem said female students had been “dressing like they were going to a wedding”.

The Taliban arrested five women taking part in a protest in the Afghan capital, Kabul, earlier this week. Three journalists were also arrested.

Guards stopped hundreds of women from entering universities on Wednesday, a day after the ban was announced.

Girls in Afghanistan have already been excluded from most secondary schools.

The Taliban retook control of Afghanistan in 2021, two decades after being removed from power by a US-led military coalition.

Yesterday, Taliban have arrested five women taking part in a protest in the Afghan capital, Kabul, against the ban on women attending universities.

Three journalists were also arrested. Protests are also understood to have taken place in the Takhar province.

Guards stopped hundreds of women from entering universities on Wednesday – a day after the ban was announced.

It is the latest policy restricting women’s education since the Taliban returned to power last year.

Girls have already been excluded from most secondary schools.

The new ban was implemented with immediate effect by the higher education minister on Tuesday, with public and private universities ordered to bar women from attending.

The education ministry said its scholars had evaluated the university curriculum and environment, and attendance for girls would be suspended until “a suitable environment” was provided.

Later, the Taliban minister of higher education, Neda Mohammad Nadeem, said on state television that women were banned from university for not following the dress code.

“They were dressing like they were going to a wedding.”

Footage shared on social media on Thursday showed about two dozen Afghan women dressed in hijabs marching through the streets of Kabul, raising banners and shouting slogans.

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