The Taliban administration has prohibited higher education for all women in Afghanistan, including those attending private institutions.
According to CNN, the indefinite ban was the latest measure taken by the Taliban to restrict the rights and freedoms of Afghan women.
The Tuesday directive took effect immediately following a cabinet meeting’s conclusion.
Neda Mohammed Nadeem, Afghanistan’s Minister for Higher Education, signed the declaration that effectively banned female students from universities.
Nadeem remarked, “You all are informed to implement the mentioned order of suspending the education of females until further notice.”
When the Taliban ordered the shutdown of schools for girls in March, it effectively prevented their return.
Human Rights Watch has criticised the recent ban on female university enrollment, calling it “a shameful decision that violates the right to education for women and girls in Afghanistan.”
An advocate for human rights said that the Taliban “make it clear every day that they don’t respect the fundamental rights of Afghans, especially women.”
The United States has also spoken out against it, with a State Department official labelling it “the Taliban’s indefensible decision to ban women from universities.”
Also, “the decision will further alienate the Taliban from the international community and deny them the legitimacy they desire,” he said.
A 52-year-old Afghan professor going by the alias Meena has also spoken out against the government’s restriction on women attending college.
Meena lamented, “I don’t know how to console my female students. One of them moved to Kabul from a remote province, overcoming many hardships because she got into a prestigious university here. All her hopes and dreams were crushed today.”
“I lost many years of my education last time they were in power. And the day the Taliban took over Kabul, I knew they would ban the girls from university.
“They may seem like a changed group with their smartphones, social media accounts and nice cars, but they are the same Taliban that denied me the education and are now killing my students’ future.”