Afghan Women Speak Out On University Ban: “Beheading Would’ve Been Better”


Girls have additionally been banned from secondary faculties in many of the nation.


Marwa was just some months away from changing into the primary lady in her Afghan household to go to school — as a substitute, she’s going to watch achingly as her brother goes with out her.

Women are actually banned from attending college in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, the place they’ve been steadily stripped of their freedoms over the previous yr.

“Had they ordered women to be beheaded, even that would have been better than this ban,” Marwa advised AFP at her household dwelling in Kabul.

“If we are to be so unlucky, I wish that we hadn’t been born at all. I’m sorry for my existence in the world.

“We are being handled worse than animals. Animals can go wherever on their very own, however we women do not have the correct even to step out of our properties.”

The 19-year-old had recently passed an entrance exam to start a nursing degree at a medical university in the Afghan capital from March.

She was thrilled to be joining her brother, Hamid, in attending the campus each day.

But now their futures have been pulled apart.

“I needed my sister to realize her objectives together with me — to succeed and transfer forward,” said Hamid, 20, a student of business administration at a higher education institute in Kabul.

“Despite a number of issues, she had studied till the twelfth grade, however what can we are saying now?”

Dreams crushed

The ban by the hardline Islamist government, which seized power in August last year, has sparked global outrage, including from Muslim nations who deemed it against Islam.

Neda Mohammad Nadeem, the Taliban’s minister for higher education, claimed women students had ignored a strict dress code and a requirement they be accompanied by a male relative to campus.

But the reality, according to some Taliban officials, is that the hardline clerics that advise the movement’s supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada remain deeply sceptical of modern education for females.

Girls have also been banned from secondary schools in most of the country.

Women have been slowly squeezed out of public life in recent months, pushed from government jobs or paid a fraction of their former salary to stay at home.

They are also barred from travelling without a male relative and must cover up in public. Women are prohibited from going to parks, fairs, gyms and public baths.

Marwa and Hamid come from an impoverished family but their parents had supported their pursuit of higher education.

With dreams of becoming a midwife, Marwa had planned to visit remote areas of Afghanistan where women remain deprived of health services.

“I needed to serve ladies in faraway locations in order that we by no means witness the lack of a mom’s life throughout childbirth,” she said.

Instead she will now stay home to teach her six younger siblings, while her father, the family’s sole breadwinner, earns money as a vegetable vendor.

History repeating

Minister Nadeem insists women students behaved in a way that insulted Islamic principles and Afghan culture.

“They had been dressing like they had been going to a marriage. Those women who had been coming to universities from dwelling had been additionally not following directions on the hijab,” he said in an interview on state television.

But Hamid strongly rejected the justification for the ban.

“When universities opened below the Taliban, totally different days had been specified for girls and boys,” he said.

“They (women) weren’t allowed to enter except they wore a masks and hijab. How then can they (the Taliban) say they had been with out hijabs?”

After the Taliban seized power, universities were forced to implement new rules, including gender-segregated classrooms and entrances, while women were only permitted to be taught by professors of the same sex, or old men.

Marwa’s mother, holding her newborn baby in her arms, said she felt history repeating itself.

Two decades ago she was forced to quit her studies during the Taliban’s first regime between 1996 and 2001.

“I’m blissful that my son is ready to pursue his objectives, however I’m additionally heartbroken that my daughter is unable to do the identical,” said Zainab, 40.

“If my daughter doesn’t obtain her objectives, she’ll have a depressing future like mine.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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