Soon after the Taliban banned women from entering universities or attending exams, thus disallowing their education, their male classmates staged a walkout in solidarity showing support against the ban.
Several videos have come up on the internet with many male students walking out of the classrooms. Even professors have condemned the Taliban’s latest ban. The hashtag “LetHerLearn” became a global sensation, with over thousands of tweets so far in support.
On December 20, the Taliban higher education ministry said that female students would not be allowed access to the country’s universities until further notice, in a new step towards more restrictions on Afghan women.
Speaking about the decision education minister Nida Mohammad Nadim said that the decision was taken as there were reports that women were not wearing their hijabs properly.
“We told girls to have proper hijab but they didn’t and they wore dresses like they are going to a wedding ceremony. Girls were studying agriculture and engineering, but this didn’t match Afghan culture. Girls should learn, but not in areas that go against Islam and Afghan honour,” the minister said adding further the move was “necessary” to stop the mixing of genders in universities.
The ban has been condemned by many countries including the United States and Britain. Washington’s deputy UN ambassador Robert Wood said, “The Taliban cannot expect to be a legitimate member of the international community until they respect the rights of all Afghans.”
Earlier this year in March, the Taliban shut down schools for girls over the age group of 12 especially when they had “promised” to reopen educational institutions for them.