The higher education minister in the new Taliban government, Abdul Baqi Haqqani, said on Sunday that women and girls can continue education including at postgraduate levels, but classrooms will be gender-segregated and Islamic dress is compulsory. He said, “We will not allow boys and girls to study together…We will not allow co-education.”
New policies were shared at a news conference, and on Saturday, the Taliban had officially begun work at the Presidential palace. The Taliban say they have changed, however, women have been banned from sports and reports on the ground have suggested that the Taliban have used violence against women protesters.
The international community has been monitoring closely how the Taliban will act and then on those grounds can they receive recognition. During the 1990s girls and women were denied an education and were excluded from public life.
“We will start building on what exists today,” said Baqi as the Taliban don’t wish to turn back to what they were 20 years ago.
Baqi said the subjects taught will be reviewed and he said he wanted graduates of Afghanistan’s universities to be competitive with university graduates in the region and the rest of the world.
The Taliban banned music and art during their previous time in power. This time around television has remained and news channels still show women presenters, but the Taliban messaging has been erratic.
Syed Zekrullah Hashmi, a spokesman on the Taliban side said women should stay restricted to their actual roles that are to give birth and raise children and while the Taliban have not ruled out eventual participation of women in government, the spokesman said women don’t need to be in the cabinet