HomeASIAMale Students, Dons Protest Ban On Female Students, Walk Out of Afghan...

Male Students, Dons Protest Ban On Female Students, Walk Out of Afghan Varsities

Published on

-Advertisement-

Male students and professors in Afghanistan have reportedly joined calls to allow women to return to classrooms after the Taliban administration banned them from universities and from working for non-governmental organisations.

The decisions, which were announced separately last week, received worldwide condemnation, with many international aid groups ceasing vital work in the country ravaged by decades of war, drought and poverty.

Videos posted on social media showed male students walking out of exams in protest, as female students who had been blocked from entering classrooms cheered, according to ABC.

Reports have also been circulating of professors quitting from many universities over the ban.

University Professor Ismail Mashal tore up his academic certificates live on a Kabul news channel.

“Today I’m going to tear up my original documents,” he announced in the video that went viral on social media.

“I’m tearing up my degrees because, if they will not let women study, I am not going to teach. If Islam and the Koran … has given her the right to education, then why are you not letting her study?”

The Taliban’s Education Minister said that women were banned because they didn’t follow the dress code or do not have legitimate male travel companions.

One female student, who asked not to be identified, called the day of the ban “bitter and painful”.

She said: “Everyone was crying, the students, the professors. The atmosphere was one of silence and fear.”

Other students posted messages on social media under the hashtag #AllOrNone.

One woman held a sign describing the pain and tears of being turned away at the gates of the university.

“In this moment, I wished a thousand times that I was not a woman!” she wrote.

“I can’t go to school without my sisters … it is their God given right to be educated,” said a boy in another video posted by activist groups.

Afghan political analyst Irfan Yar said that the new bans on female education and work restrictions would result in a “more chaotic situation with more darkness and ignorance”.

Since the Taliban seized power last year, women and girls have been progressively restricted from public life.

They were banned from high schools, parks, gyms and most jobs, despite early promises to allow women to exercise their rights under Sharia law, including attending work and study.

Women were also ordered to wear head-to-toe clothing and prevented from travelling without a male relative.

Mr. Yar said that these latest restrictions appeared to be based on the ideology of some Taliban leaders rather than on logic.

According to him, these decisions did not appear to be unanimously accepted by the Taliban leadership.

The announcements were made by individual ministries while other more-moderate elements of the administration remained silent.

Speaking to the ABC just after the decision was made by the Higher Education Ministry, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said that he was not yet aware of the details behind the move.

“Education is the legitimate demand of our people and needs a solution. It could never be a permanent decision,” he said.

Yar said that he was optimistic that a push from within could see the decision reversed, but that would take time.

In the meantime, the political analyst said that the increasing restrictions could “pave the way for internal rebellion against the Taliban”.

He said that, while at the beginning, “a huge segment” of the population backed the Taliban against the former Afghan Government, their increasingly “strict and stringent policies” were driving down their support among the people.

“People will, at some point, become fed up and then they will have no other option but to rebel against that government,” he said.

Muska Dastageer, a lecturer at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul, called the move “suicidal”.

She wrote on Twitter: “No country would do this to itself. It is suicidal. It is what a country’s enemy would want.”

In a separate Tweet she added: “Please understand what an unfathomable loss it is to deny Afghan girls university education.”

Over the past week, at least four major global aid groups have suspended their operations because they were unable to run their programmes without female staff.

Some United Nations (UN) programmes have also been “temporarily” stopped, UN Aid Coordinator in Afghanistan Ramiz Alakbarov said at a press conference in New York.

He said that women made up about 30 per cent of aid workers and it would not be possible to provide aid without them.

Mr. Alakbarov said that his immediate focus was on dialogue with the Taliban to resolve the issue, adding: “This movement have not responded well to the pressure in the past.”

He told the ABC: “Some people say that it’s a strategic thing and they want women to be in silence so that they can remain in power, but it’s not like that, it’s just based on ignorance.”

Two-thirds of the Afghan population need aid to survive, 20 million people face acute hunger and 97 per cent of Afghans live in poverty, according to UN figures.

Yar said both bans would have a “significant effect” on the whole population.

“The consequence of this inhumane policy is very serious and broad, in terms of just bringing catastrophe to people who are already suffering,” he said.

A reduction in aid and the ability to reach the most vulnerable would have immediate, dire consequences while, for many families, a woman’s income was crucial to their survival.

“Because of this war, many men are handicapped, they cannot work, and it’s their courageous sisters, mothers, wives that are supporting them,” Yar said.

He said that long-term, in a conservative society with strict rules on interaction between men and women, no nurses or midwives will severely restrict medical services and lead to increased child mortality rates.

“In the beginning, I was very optimistic that the international community should engage with the Taliban through negotiation, but it doesn’t seem to be working in that way,” he said, adding that more pressure via individual sanctions rather than umbrella sanctions was required.

“But [the] priority should be to bring them to the negotiation table because, if you isolate them, it’s not going to help anybody.”

-All Rights Reserved-
Permission to use any material, including text, still photograph, audio and video from this site is granted subject to permission being formally sought and, if granted, appropriate credit must duly be given to The News Room as the source.

Latest articles

Remmy Nweke has joined the NIRA BoT

Mr. Remmy Nweke, Lead Consulting Strategist and Group Executive Editor of ITREALMS Media Group,...

Ten faces behind Nigeria’s expanding fashion footprint

Despite a difficult business environment, Nigeria has generated designers and entrepreneurs who are helping to put the country on the map.

May Day: It is ‘wickedness’ for the government to owe workers and pensioners – PDP chieftain

Dotun Babayemi, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chairman in Osun, has asked for increased benefit packages for workers in order to incentivize them to perform best.

UFC to host first African fight in Senegal, ignores Nigeria over lack of infrastructure

Due to a lack of infrastructure, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), an American mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion, has passed up Nigeria as the likely first African country to host a combat event, with Senegal emerging as the leader to hold what would be a historic event.

More like this

Remmy Nweke has joined the NIRA BoT

Mr. Remmy Nweke, Lead Consulting Strategist and Group Executive Editor of ITREALMS Media Group,...

Ten faces behind Nigeria’s expanding fashion footprint

Despite a difficult business environment, Nigeria has generated designers and entrepreneurs who are helping to put the country on the map.

May Day: It is ‘wickedness’ for the government to owe workers and pensioners – PDP chieftain

Dotun Babayemi, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chairman in Osun, has asked for increased benefit packages for workers in order to incentivize them to perform best.