Taliban crackdown on Afghan universities to curb women’s protests

KABUL: Afghan universities have become a hotbed of resistance to the Taliban, with female students staging protests against the militant group’s sweeping restrictions on women.

In response, the Taliban cracked down on several university campuses across the country, violently breaking up protests and expelling students accused of political activism, RFE/RL reported.

In the latest incident, the Taliban beat dozens of female students who staged a rally on October 30 outside their university in the northeastern province of Badakhshan.

The incident came after a group of women were banned from entering campus because of their appearance, RFE/RL reported.

Weeks after taking power in August 2021, the Taliban imposed a new dress code and gender segregation for women in universities and colleges across the country.

The Taliban’s Ministry of Education has ordered that all female students, teachers and staff wear a burka or Islamic abaya and a niqab covering the hair, body and most of the face.

Classes should also be separated by gender – or at least divided by a curtain. Female students should only be taught by other women.

The order was condemned by activists, who said it would create fear and a culture of discrimination against women and girls.