Afghanistan women can continue to study at universities, even at post-graduate levels. Still, classrooms will be gender-segregated and Islamic dress will be required, the new Taliban government’s higher education minister said Sunday.
The minister, Abdul Baqi Haqqani, said the new Taliban government would “start building the country on what exists today,” AP reported.
According to the movement’s interpretation of Islamic Sharia law, female students will be taught by women whenever possible, and classrooms will be kept segregated.
“Thanks to God we have a high number of women teachers. We will not face any problems in this. All efforts will be made to find and provide women teachers for female students,” he told a news conference in Kabul.
The world has been watching closely to see if the Taliban behave differently from their first era in power in the late 1990s. Then, girls and women were forbidden an education and were excluded from public life throughout that time, according to Breitbart.
The Taliban claim they have changed, including their views on women. However, following the U.S. withdrawal from the country, women have been prohibited from sports, and the Taliban has used violence against female protestors demanding equal rights in recent days.
Female university students will be subject to restrictions, including a mandatory dress code. Haqqani stated that hijabs will be compulsory, but did not define whether this meant mandatory headscarves or face coverings.
Gender segregation will also be enforced, he said. “We will not allow boys and girls to study together,” he continued. “We will not allow co-education.”
In an interview on Afghanistan’s TOLO News, Syed Zekrullah Hashmi, a Taliban spokesman, stated that women should give birth and raise children. Adding that while the Taliban have not ruled out the possibility of women being in government, “it is not necessary that women be in the Cabinet.”
Boys and girls were educated separately in elementary and high schools even before the Taliban took power. For example, girls in high school had to wear knee-length tunics with white headscarves, and they were not allowed to wear jeans, make-up, or jewelry.