Just a few weeks ago, the control over Afghanistan women was thought to have reached drastic heights. Women were banned from going to multiple public spaces under the Taliban’s directive, including public parks, fun fairs, and gyms.
However, recent reports share that these moves appeared to have been a mere foreshadowing, laying down a future that kicks Afghan women out of opportunities.
The ‘lockdown’ against women has now extended to university access — something of a followup on the ban that saw girls restricted from lower levels of education earlier this year.
A letter shared by the country’s Ministry of Education issued the ban on Tuesday, 21 December. It sentenced both an immediate effect and imminent backlash.
The United Nations, Human Rights Watch and social activists all over the world have shared their outrage over the news.
“We understand the Taliban’s so-called Ministry of Higher Education has just issued a decision banning women from public and private universities. The United States condemns in the strongest terms this absolutely indefensible position,” shared Ambassador Robert Wood at the UN Security Council Briefing which responded directly to the event.
“The Taliban cannot expect to be a legitimate member of the international community until they respect the rights of all Afghans, especially the human rights and fundamental freedoms of women and girls. We will continue to work with this Council to speak with one voice on this issue,” he added.
Human Rights Watch called the act “shameful,” before sharing a clip on what education means to Afghan girls and what is lost without it, from the girls’ perspectives.
What happens when a generation of girls is shut out of school?
— Human Rights Watch (@hrw) December 20, 2022
A woman who faced earlier streams of Taliban crackdowns decades shared that she knew history would repeat itself when the ultra-conservative group regained power. She added that she’d lost years of education and now bares witness to the group “killing the future of [her] students”, per The Guardian.
Meanwhile, the Taliban has reportedly defended the decision as a matter of national interest and the honour of women, despite it being ‘temporary’.
Feature Image: Getty Images