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Women being Allowed to Study at Varsities but in Segregated Classes: Taliban

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LAHORE MIRROR (Monitoring Desk)– The Taliban government said Sunday that women in Afghanistan will be allowed to study in universities but in separate classes.

Taliban’s new Higher Education minister Abdul Baqi Haqqani said the new Taliban government, named last week, would “start building the country on what exists today” and did not want to turn the clock back 20 years to when the movement was last in power.

He said female students would be taught by women wherever possible and classrooms would remain separated, in accordance with the movement’s interpretation of Islamic sharia law.

“Thanks to God we have a high number of women teachers. We will not face any problems in this. All efforts will be made to find and provide women teachers for female students,” he told a news conference in Kabul.

The issue of women’s education has been one of the central questions facing the Taliban as they seek to persuade the world that they have changed since the harsh fundamentalist rule they imposed in the 1990s when women were largely banned from studying or working outside the home.

Taliban officials have said women will be able to study and work in accordance with sharia law and local cultural traditions but strict dress rules will apply. Haqqani said hijab religious veils would be mandatory for all female students but did not specify if this meant headscarves or compulsory face coverings.

On Saturday, a group, apparently made up of women students in black robes that covered them completely from head to foot, demonstrated in Kabul in support of the rules on dress and separate classrooms.

Haqqani said where no women teachers were available special measures would be adopted to ensure separation.

SOURCE: REUTERS