Taliban: Women Must Segregate from Men to Study at University

Taliban: Women Must Segregate from Men to Study at University

Women in Afghanistan may continue studying at universities, including at the post-graduate level, but classrooms must be gender-segregated and enforce an Islamic dress code, the newly formed government of the Taliban terror group announced Sunday.

The Taliban’s higher education minister, Abdul Baqi Haqqani, laid out the new policies regarding women at a news conference on September 12 in Kabul.

Haqqani said hijabs, or head coverings, will be mandatory for female university students. He did not specify if this meant the headscarves would need to be worn so that they also conceal a woman’s face, or if separate veils, known as niqabs, would be required.

“Gender segregation will also be enforced,” Haqqani said on Sunday.

Students attend a class bifurcated by a curtain separating males and females at a private university in Kabul on September 7, 2021, to follow the Taliban

Schoolgirls sit at the schoolyard in Herat on August 17, 2021, following the Taliban’s takeover of the country. (Aref Karimi/AFP via Getty Images)

“In elementary and high schools, boys and girls were taught separately, even before the Taliban came to power. In high schools, girls had to wear tunics reaching to their knees and white headscarves, and jeans, makeup and jewelry were not permitted,” the U.S.-based news agency recalled.

The Taliban terror group seized control of the Afghan national capital, Kabul, on August 15, deposing the city’s U.S.-backed government within hours. The jihadist group then declared itself Afghanistan’s legitimate and sole ruler, renaming the country the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The Taliban previously ruled Kabul, the Afghan seat of government, from 1996-2001.

Gabrielle Reyes