The Taliban government has suspended university education for all female students in Afghanistan, the latest step in its brutal crackdown on the rights and freedoms of Afghan women.
A spokesperson for Afghanistan’s Ministry of Higher Education confirmed the suspension to CNN on Tuesday. A letter released by the Department for Education says the decision was made at a cabinet meeting and the order will take effect immediately.
Girls were banned from returning to secondary schools in March, after the Taliban ordered girls’ schools to close just hours after they reopened after months of closures imposed after the Taliban takeover in August 2021.
Human Rights Watch criticized the ban on Tuesday, calling it “a shameful decision that violates the right to education of women and girls in Afghanistan.”
“The Taliban make it clear every day that they do not respect the basic rights of Afghans, especially women,” the rights watchdog said in a statement.
After taking power in Afghanistan last year, the Taliban tried to project a more moderate image to gain international support.
But while they made numerous promises to the international community that they would protect the rights of women and girls, the Taliban did the opposite, systematically suppressing their rights and freedoms.
Women in Afghanistan can no longer work in most sectors, need a male guardian for long journeys and have been ordered to cover their faces in public.
This is breaking news, more to follow.