The Taliban announced Sunday that women would be allowed to study, in Afghanistan, but not alongside men. Higher Education Minister Abdul Baqi Haqqani also said a new Islamic dress code will be introduced. Some have suggested that the new rules will exclude women from education because the universities do not have the resources to provide separate classes. However, Mr Haqqani insisted there are enough female teachers and that where they are not available alternatives will be found. Girls and boys will also be segregated at primary and secondary schools. In the last decades Universities in the country were co-educational, with men and women studying side by side, and female students did not have to abide by a dress code.
Protests defending women’s rights are ongoing in Afghanistan in the last weeks. However, manifestations at the opposite side occur too. A demonstration by women supportive of the Taliban’s gender policies at Shaheed Rabbani Education University in Kabul yesterday. Hundreds of women, most of them wearing black niqabs and carrying small Taliban flags, listened to speeches that praised the new regime and attacked those involved in large demonstrations across the country demanding the protection of women’s rights. Previously, was said working women in Afghanistan must stay at home until proper systems are in place to ensure their safety, a Taliban spokesman has told reporters.