The Afghan Taliban have indefinitely banned Afghan girls from taking entrance exams for private universities, further tightening the ban on women’s education.Ziaullah Hashmi, a spokesman for the Taliban’s Ministry of Higher Education, confirmed to Voice of America on Saturday (January 28) that they have sent letters to private universities across Afghanistan ordering them not to admit female students who will enroll this spring.
Entrance exams are scheduled to be held at the end of February. The letter warns of legal action if the decree is not enforced.Taliban authorities last month abruptly banned women from attending university and banned women from working for national and international NGOs.That sparked international outrage, prompting the United Nations to send a high-level delegation to Kabul this month to convey international concerns and press Taliban leaders to ease restrictions on women.UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths visited Kabul earlier this week to persuade the Taliban to lift a ban on female aid workers, warning it would undermine humanitarian relief efforts.
U.N. Under-Secretary-General Amina Mohammed led a high-level delegation to Afghanistan last week to discuss women’s rights with senior Taliban officials. She told reporters in New York on Wednesday that the international community’s best means of persuading the Taliban to lift restrictions on women’s rights in Afghanistan is the Taliban’s desire for international recognition.More than a million Afghan girls are out of school because of the ban on girls’ education, UN officials say.