Taliban crackdown on Afghan universities to curb women's protests

In the latest incident, the Taliban beat dozens of female students who staged a rally on October 30 outside their university in the northeastern province of Badakhshan.
Representative image
Representative image

KABUL: Afghanistan's universities have become a hotbed of resistance to the Taliban, with female students staging protests against the militant group's sweeping restrictions on women.

In response, the Taliban has cracked down on several university campuses across the country, violently breaking up demonstrations and expelling students accused of political activism, RFE/RL reported.

In the latest incident, the Taliban beat dozens of female students who staged a rally on October 30 outside their university in the northeastern province of Badakhshan.

The incident came after a group of women were barred from entering the campus because of their appearance, RFE/RL reported.

Weeks after seizing power in August 2021, the Taliban had imposed a new dress code and gender segregation for women at universities and colleges across the country.

The Taliban's Education Ministry ordered that all female students, teachers, and staff must wear an all-encompassing burqa or an Islamic abaya robe and niqab that covers the hair, body, and most of the face.

Classes must also be segregated by gender -- or at least divided by a curtain. Female students must be taught only by other women.

The order was condemned by activists, who said it would create fear and a culture of discrimination against women and girls.

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