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Afghan women protest against Taliban ban on education of females

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Afghanistan | Image: ANI/Representative

Women across Afghanistan cities have taken to the streets raising slogans against a Taliban ban on their higher education.

The protesters in the capital Kabul besides in Nangarhar, Takhar, and Herat have braved water cannons in biting cold conditions, media reports showed.

The protests are expected to surge amid the latest crackdown ordering all local and foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to stop their female employees from attending work, TOLOnews reported on Saturday.

There has been worldwide condemnation of the bans. “Dozens of women staged a protest in Western Herat province on Saturday against the Taliban’s order that banned female students from pursuing higher education,” Khaama Press reported.

According to the videos circulating on social media, a group of women took to the street and marched around the province, chanting slogans including: “Education is our right, “education for all or none”.

This came after the Taliban on Tuesday announced that women were banned from attending university in the country as they had not been wearing appropriate Islamic attire at colleges and been interacting with their male counterparts.

Meanwhile, in the Takhar province, a group of female university students protested, condemning the Taliban’s latest act of banning women’s right to education. The protestors chanted, “education is our right,” according to Khaama Press.

Protests were also seen in other parts of the country like the capital Kabul, Nangarhar, Takhar, and Herat indicating women’s final chance to demand their inherent right to access education.

The number of university lecturers resigning from their positions in solidarity with the women’s demands has been rising steadily. Following the protest in the capital Kabul earlier this week, the authorities of the interim regime arrested five women taking part in a protest. They also arrest three journalists.

Detaining protesters and journalists is not something new, reported Khaama Press.

Moreover, in the latest crackdown on women’s freedoms, the Taliban regime has ordered all local and foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to stop female employees from coming to work in the country, TOLOnews reported on Saturday.

The Taliban-led Ministry of Economy ordered all national and international non-government organizations to suspend the jobs of female employees until further announcement, Afghan news agency TOLOnews reported.

After the new announcement, the European Union condemned the Taliban’s ban on women working for NGOs and said that it was assessing the impact of its aid in Afghanistan, reported Al Jazeera.

“The European Union strongly condemns the Taliban’s recent decision to ban women from working in national and international NGOs,” said a spokesperson for EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell to the French news agency.

The suspension of female employees from coming to NGOs has triggered global reactions and criticisms. Ramiz Alakbarov, the UN deputy special representative for Afghanistan and humanitarian coordinator said he was “deeply concerned” by reports of the letter, which was a “clear breach of humanitarian principles”.

The Charge D’affaires for Norway, which funds aid in Afghanistan and hosted talks between Taliban and civil society members in January, condemned the move.

“The ban on female employees in NGOs must be reversed immediately,” Paul Klouman Bekken tweeted. “In addition to being a blow to women’s rights, this move will exacerbate the humanitarian crisis and hurt the most vulnerable Afghans.

“Since 15 August 2021, the de facto authorities have barred girls from attending secondary school, restricted women and girls’ freedom of movement, excluded women from most areas of the workforce and banned women from using parks, gyms and public bath houses.

These restrictions culminate with the confinement of Afghan women and girls to the four walls of their homes.

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