Protests Erupt in Kabul After Taliban Kicks Women Out of College

Small groups of Afghan women staged protests in Kabul Thursday to protest against them bei

A group of about fifty women gathered in the Afghan capital of Kabul on Thursday to protest the Taliban banning women from universities. Taliban thugs used force to disperse the protest, beating and arresting some of the women while others fled.

The Taliban, which seized power after President Joe Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021, has grown increasingly oppressive toward women despite promises to respect their rights. The United Nations, Western governments, and human rights groups have been particularly outraged by the Taliban preventing girls from attending school.

In March of this year, the Taliban prevented girls over sixth grade from entering classrooms. The extremist junta claimed this was necessary to “adjust” schools until they could handle female students.

In November, the Taliban banned women from amusement parks and gymnasiums, ostensibly because they were not obeying requirements to wear head coverings and remain distant from men.

On Tuesday, the junta’s education ministry ordered universities to turn female students away “until further notice.” Women were confronted by swarms of armed guards when they tried to enter campuses. One woman told Reuters she was ejected from Kabul University while merely attempting to collect a diploma she had already earned.

As with the amusement park ban, Taliban officials claimed women were banned from college because they disobeyed Islamic dress codes and insisted on interacting with male students.

“They didn’t observe hijab, they were coming with the clothes that mostly women wear to go to a wedding,” said the junta’s education minister, Nida Mohammad Nadim.

Nadim rejected the storm of international criticism against the ban, saying the Taliban has “asked the world not to interfere in our affairs.”

The women who assembled to protest in Kabul on Thursday chanted slogans such as “Everyone Or No One.” 

The demonstrators were peaceful and wore hijabs, but they were still attacked by Taliban forces. Some of the protesters said they were beaten and whipped. The BBC reported five were arrested, along with three journalists who were covering the march. 

One demonstrator told the BBC their march was infiltrated by female Taliban agents.

“They beat some of our girls and arrested some others. They were about to take me too, but I managed to escape. But I was beaten badly,” she said.

Male students in Kabul, Jalalabad, and Kandahar walked away from their exams on Wednesday to demonstrate solidarity with the banned female students, and several male professors resigned in protest. A sympathy demonstration was also held at Peshawar University in Pakistan.


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