Afghanistan Islamist religious and political movement, the Taliban, has declared that women will no longer attend classes or work at Kabul University “until an Islamic environment is created.”
News of the ban was announced today by Taliban-appointed university chancellor Mohammad Ashraf Ghairat on Twitter.
The ban is the latest in a series of moves threatening women’s rights in Afghanistan.
“I give you my words as chancellor of Kabul University,” Ghairat wrote. “As long as a real Islamic environment is not provided for all, women will not be allowed to come to universities or work. Islam first.”
SurgeZirc UK understands that about 9,460 women study at Kabul University, which constitutes 43 per cent of the student body.
Despite suspicions that the Taliban would crack down against women education, women had been permitted to continue university education in the wake of the Taliban takeover in August.
The condition was that they would study in segregated classrooms and cover themselves according the group’s interpretation of Sharia law.
However, female students were not allowed to return to secondary schools when the male students resumed earlier this month, despite already returning to primary school.
The ban comes a day after Ghairat said the university was looking to allow male teachers to educate the female students due to “shortage of female teachers.”
Ghairat said male professors may have to teach female students from behind a screen in a classroom to keep “an Islamic learning environment for woman.”
He said said the university, which currently ranks 8,213rd in the world, is aiming to become “a hub for all real Muslims around the world to gather, research, study and islamicize the modern science.”
“I am here to announce that we will be welcoming pro-Muslim scholars and students to benefit from a real Islamic environment at KU under the IEA.”
Recent developments serve as apt indication the Taliban do not intend to evolve from its anachronistic ways akin the repressive reign of the 1990s, despite promising the international community that it would adopt a softer brand of rule.
In the 1990s during the Taliban’s previous stint at governance, women were disallowed from acquiring formal education and were not allowed to leave the house unless accompanied by a male relative.
Following US invasion of Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11, women education and semblances of modern day civilisation had been restored by a significant degree to the warn-torn middle-east country.
During that time, the number of schools tripled and female literacy nearly doubled to 30 per cent, though the change was largely limited to the cities.
In its reaction, the United Nations has said it is “deeply worried for the future of girls” following the Taliban takeover and have implored the Islamist group to restore due privileges to female students and teachers.