Afghan universities separate men and women with a curtain

University studies in Afghanistan are gradually resuming after the Taliban took over the country’s government. At this time of retaking, a photo showing male students separated from women by a curtain in a university classroom was shared on the internet.

According to a report in The Mirror, the photos are supposedly from a classroom at Ibn-e Sina University. Despite the scenes, segregation between women and men in the study environment is not a requirement of Islamic law.

Men and women are separated by curtains in classrooms – Image: Social media handout/via REUTER

However, the behavior is seen as something traditional for the Taliban government, which only allows the presence of women accompanied by men from their own family.

After the resumption of power by the extremist group, Taliban representative Suhail Shaheen declared that women will be allowed to work and receive education up to university level.

“Our policy is clear, they can have access to education and work, that’s one thing. They can hold positions, but the position they can hold is in the light of the Islamic government, so there is a general structure for them,” he declared.

Just days after this statement, reports of women being rejected from workplaces and universities resurfaced across the country.

Taliban says women will be able to attend university, following Islamic law

In fear of the Taliban government, many women wore burqas and were among the thousands of people who tried to flee the country. Heather Barr of Human Rights Watch said the fighters “Tell the women they can’t leave the house without being accompanied by a man in the family.”

Heather adds that “Women are being forced to leave their jobs. They are women who work as professionals who have been trained for a long time”.

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Under the previous Taliban government, in the 1990s, women’s education was banned. With the resumption of power by the extremist group, fears of a new ban gripped Afghan society.

At a press conference, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that women are an “important” part of society and that their rights would be respected by Sharia.

Several protests were carried out by Afghan women, calling on the Taliban to protect women’s human rights. Images showed the moment when women hold posters calling for the continued right to education and decent jobs.