Afghan universities reopen with trickle of women attending



2022-02-02 19:07:00

Taliban fighters stand guard on the predominant gate of Laghman College after lessons resumed for the primary time for the reason that hardline Islamist group returned to energy — Mohd RASFAN AFP
  • Taliban say all women’ faculties will reopen by the top of March.
  • Analyst says reopening of universities a “critical marker” on  Taliban’s street to worldwide recognition.
  • Regime has imposed a number of restrictions on women, together with banning them from many authorities jobs.

MIHTARLAM: Some public universities opened in Afghanistan on Wednesday for the primary time for the reason that Taliban seized energy in August, with a trickle of women attending lessons that officers mentioned could be segregated by intercourse.

Most secondary faculties for ladies and all public universities had been shuttered when the hardline Islamist group stormed again to energy, sparking fears women would once more be barred from schooling — as occurred throughout the Taliban’s first rule, from 1996-2001.

“It’s a moment of joy for us that our classes have started,” Zarlashta Haqmal, who research regulation and political science at Nangarhar College, informed AFP.

“But we are still worried that the Taliban might stop them.”

One analyst mentioned the reopening of universities was a “critical marker” on the Taliban’s street to worldwide recognition.

Officers mentioned universities in Laghman, Nangarhar, Kandahar, Nimroz, Farah and Helmand provinces opened Wednesday.

Extra had been scheduled to renew operations elsewhere within the nation later this month.

An AFP correspondent noticed one small group of women, carrying the all-covering burqa, enter Laghman College early Wednesday.

The boys who attended — ferried to the campus in native taxis and buses — had been wearing conventional tunics often known as shalwar kameez.

Attendance was very mild and Taliban fighters guarded the doorway, a tripod-mounted machine gun resting on a growth gate.

Most college students declined to supply their ideas on returning to class, with some saying that they had been warned by authorities to not communicate to the press.

Journalists had been prevented from coming into the Laghman campus and universities in different provinces.

Crucial marker

The Taliban have mentioned they haven’t any objection to schooling for women, however need lessons to be segregated and the curriculum primarily based on Islamic ideas.

“We were told that the classes will be held according to the Sharia law,” mentioned Malik Samadi, a 23-year-old arithmetic scholar.

“I hope that they keep all the courses because society needs them.”

“Education is the foundation of a country,” mentioned civil engineering scholar Munsefullah at Helmand College, expressing pleasure at returning to his research.

Nonetheless, whereas completely satisfied to be returning to lectures, one scholar regarded past her research with pessimism.

“We are also sad because being political and law students, our future is at risk as we won’t be able to get jobs under this regime,” mentioned Khadija Azizi from Nangarhar College.

“It’s no more pleasant for us because we have lost hope for our future.”

On Tuesday, the United Nations Help Mission in Afghanistan mentioned the reopening of universities was an “important step” because it supplied equal entry to schooling for all.

The reopenings come per week after a Taliban delegation held talks with Western officers in Norway, the place they had been pressed on bettering the rights of women to unlock billions of {dollars} in seized property and frozen international assist.

The halting of assist has triggered a humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan, which has already been devastated by many years of warfare.

No nation has but recognised the brand new Taliban regime, which has promised a softer model of the tough rule that characterised their first stint in energy.

The regime has imposed a number of restrictions on women, together with banning them from many authorities jobs.

The Taliban say all women’ faculties will reopen by the top of March.

“The reopening of public universities… would bode well for the return of girls (to school) around the country,” United States Institute of Peace analyst Andrew Watkins informed AFP.

“This is the Taliban taking a step that would be a critical marker in moving closer towards recognition.”

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