The higher education minister in the new Taliban government said Sunday Women in Afghanistan can continue to study in universities, including at post graduate levels, but classrooms will be gender-segregated and Islamic dress is compulsory
The world has been watching closely to see to what extent the Taliban might act differently from their first time in power, in the late 1990s. During that era, girls and women were denied an education, and were excluded from public life.
The minister, Abdul Baqi Haqqani, laid out the new policies at a news conference, several days after Afghanistan’s new rulers formed an all-male government.
The Taliban have suggested they have changed, including in their attitudes toward women. However, they have used violence in recent days against women protesters demanding equal rights.
Female university students will face restrictions under the Taliban, including a compulsory dress code. Haqqani said hijabs will be mandatory but did not specify if this meant compulsory headscarves or also compulsory face coverings.
Haqqani said the subjects being taught in universities would also be reviewed but did not elaborate. The Taliban, who subscribe to a harsh interpretation of Islam, have banned music and art during their previous time in power.
Gender segregation will also be enforced, he said. “We will not allow boys and girls to study together,” he said. “We will not allow co education.”