Since retaking power, the Taliban have reinstated draconian curbs on women’s rights in Afghanistan. The most recent move, banning women from universities, has drawn international condemnation.
Afghan girls may now only complete school until sixth grade but are barred from secondary and higher education.
On Thursday, in some Afghan cities, girls were even sent home from primary schools. Female teachers reportedly lost their jobs. A gathering of school principals and spiritual leaders this week said women in Afghanistan should no longer be allowed to work as teachers or visit mosques, though an official decision has not yet been announced.
“This will greatly harm Afghanistan and the people of Afghanistan,” Shaharzad Akbar, the former head of the Afghan Human Rights Commission, told DW. “In a society where half the population has no access to education, the population will remain poor and dependent on the international community.”
For two years now, Afghanistan has been blighted by a hunger crisis. According to the UN, this winter, some 23 million Afghans will lack food.
Numerous protests were staged by students and teachers following the ban. A group of male medical students, for instance, got up during an exam and left the room in protest. Students gathered outside Nangarhar University, in eastern Afghanistan, to protest for hours. Dozens of women took to the streets in Afghan cities, chanting slogans like “everyone or no one” and “education for all.”