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Taliban Ban Women From Kabul University in Afghanistan

September 28, 2021

The newly installed chancellor of Kabul University in Afghanistan announced Monday that women would be indefinitely banned from teaching at or attending the institution, The New York Times reported.

The Times quoted a tweet by the chancellor, Mohammad Ashraf Ghairat, saying, “I give you my words as chancellor of Kabul University: as long as a real Islamic environment is not provided for all, women will not be allowed to come to universities or work. Islam first.”

Ghairat was made chancellor by the new Taliban government and was described by the Times as “a 34-year-old devotee of the movement who has referred to the country’s schools as ‘centers for prostitution.’” He replaced the former president of Kabul University, the country’s premier college, two weeks ago.

The new policy harkens back to the 1990s, when the Taliban was first in power and prohibited women and girls from getting an education, working and being in public unless accompanied by a male relative. The current regime had previously voiced widely reported public assurances that women would be allowed to study, work and participate in government this time.

“There is no hope, the entire higher education system is collapsing,” Hamid Obaidi, the former spokesman for the Ministry of Higher Education, who was also a lecturer at the Journalism School of Kabul University, told the Times. “Everything was ruined.”

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