Dozens of Afghans are demonstrating today against the ban on women attending university. In March, secondary education in Afghanistan for girls was already banned. Large demonstrations became rare under the Taliban regime. Protests against those in power are often ended violently.
The ban immediately led to unrest and protests in various universities yesterday, said Ali Latifi, a journalist from Kabul. Also from men. “Even male students left the university and refused to take their exams or attend classes in protest of this new procedure.”
Zahra, 21, who has been studying photography at Kabul University for years, is nearing the end of her education. She was due to graduate next spring. The morning after the decision to close women’s universities, I tried to go anyway. “But the Taliban blocked the road. They were more than a hundred and stood in front of the university gate. I was in shock, and my fellow students were crying.”
Shout, shout, shout
Teachers also express their discontent and describe the ban as unfair and immoral. happy dean (Known surname of the editor) teaches at a private university in Kabul. He thought his female students were still allowed to complete their final exams, but it was impossible.
“We were distributing exam papers in class when the Taliban came. They told us to stop immediately. The students started shouting that they wanted to take their exams. But the Taliban forced them to leave immediately. There was no alternative. We said. They have to take care of themselves. Then they were forced to To go home.”
A college in Kabul closed in protest of:
Several countries in the region, including Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, have now called on the Taliban to lift the ban. It is also clear that at least part of the population does not want the increasingly strict rules. Even among the Taliban there seems to be a discussion on this subject.
Journalist Latifi: “It is very clear that the Taliban are divided on this issue. I read that a few months ago the Taliban government spokesman said in a TV program that if it had been up to him he would have closed secondary schools because of teenage girls that opened yesterday in 32 districts.”
But although there is a difference of opinion within the Taliban, according to Latifi, the part of the Taliban that opposes girls’ education seems to be the strongest at the moment. And that while three months ago, thousands of women were still taking the university entrance exam. The chance that they will be able to complete their studies in Afghanistan now seems very slim.
“We are talking about girls and young women, daughters of male and female doctors, government employees and businessmen who still had a little hope that they could make something out of their lives in this country. But now they realize that this hope is more than that.”
Today’s protest included Zahra, despite the risks. She and others were arrested on the spot. Zahra has now been released. “But what else should I do?” “What if we don’t have universities, if we don’t have schools, if we don’t have jobs? What do I do? I’m young and I have plans for my future. But in this case I can’t do anything.”
In an earlier protest against the Taliban’s strict rules, Zahra’s camera was broken. It is also forbidden to take pictures with a mobile phone. “We are not allowed to wear the dresses we like. They choose what we wear. We are not allowed to go anywhere, not to parks, not to talk to boys, there are many things we were not allowed to do since the Taliban came back to power, and then everything changed.” And the situation has become very bad.”
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