The Taliban administration’s new higher education minister, Abdul Baqi Haqqani, said Sunday that Afghan women could resume their higher studies, but classrooms would be sex-discriminated and Islamic dress is compulsory. The declaration came as a militant group official said the foreign minister of Qatar arrived in Kabul, the highest-level foreign visit since the Taliban announced their caretaker government.
Abdul Baqi Haqqani laid out the latest policies at a press briefing, days after new rulers of the war-torn nation formed an all-male administration. The Taliban had raised their flag over ARG Presidential Palace on Saturday, indicating the beginning of the work of the new administration in Afghanistan.
The world has been observing keenly to see to what extent the new rulers might act in a different way from their previous time in power. During that time, women and girls were left without an education, and moreover, they were left out of public life.
Women in Afghanistan can continue to study in universities, including at post-graduate levels, as long as classrooms are gender-segregated and Islamic dress is compulsory, a Taliban official said Sunday pic.twitter.com/hJNS48rxqx
— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) September 12, 2021
The Afghan Taliban have proposed they’ve changed, including their frame of mind toward women. Women, however, have been excluded from sports.
Female university students, however, would experience limitations, including a mandatory dress code, i.e., according to Islamic dressing way. Haqqani said hijabs would be compulsory but didn’t specify if that meant required face coverings or headscarves.
‘it isn’t necessary women be in the Cabinet’ – Taliban Spokesman
He said that gender discrimination would also be enforced. For example, they’d not permit girls and boys to study together. They’d not permit co-education.
Furthermore, Abdul Baqi Haqqani said the subjects being instructed would also be reviewed. While the minister didn’t intricate, he stated he wanted Afghan university graduates to be competitive with graduates of the universities in the region and the world.
Moreover, the Afghan Taliban banned art and music during their previous time in power in the late 1990s. But this time around, TV has remained, and news broadcasting still shows women presenters, but Afghan Taliban messaging has been unpredictable.
Last week, Syed Zekrullah Hashmi, the Taliban spokesman, said in an interview on TOLO News that women should give birth and raise children. While the new rulers haven’t ruled out the ultimate participation of women in the Afghan government and said, it isn’t necessary that ‘women be in the Cabinet.’
The fresh higher education policy indicates a change from the accepted practice before the militant group’s capturing. Then, universities were co-ed, with women and men studying side by side, and female students didn’t have to follow the dress code. Then, however, most of the female students opted to use headscarves in line with tradition.
Furthermore, girls and boys were taught separately in elementary and high schools, even before the Afghan Taliban took control. For example, girls in high school were made compulsory to wear tunics and white headscarves. But makeup, jewelry, and jeans weren’t allowed.
Read Also: Afghan Women Protested for Giving Them Equal Rights as Taliban Seek International Recognition