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Taliban higher education minister defends ban on women going to college

The Taliban Minister of Higher Education on Thursday defended his decision to ban women from universities in Afghanistan.

In a television interview, Nida Mohammad Nadim said the ban issued earlier this week was necessary to prevent gender mixing at universities and because he believed some subjects taught violated the tenets of Islam. He said the ban was in place until further notice.

Nadim pushed back against widespread international condemnation, including from Muslim-majority countries such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar.

“We told the girls to have a proper hijab, but they didn’t and they wore dresses as if they were going to a wedding ceremony,” he said.

“The girls were studying agriculture and engineering, but it didn’t fit Afghan culture. Girls should learn, but not in fields that go against Islam and Afghan honor.”

Earlier on Thursday, foreign ministers from G7 countries urged the Taliban to reverse the ban, warning that “gender-based persecution can constitute a crime against humanity”.

Nadim added that work was underway to resolve supposed issues, such as the dress code and subjects studied by women, and that universities would reopen for women once they were resolved.

The Taliban made similar promises about girls’ access to high school, saying classes would resume for them once “technical issues” over uniforms and transport were ironed out, but girls remain excluded from classrooms.

For more, watch the Euronews report in the video above.

euronews Gt

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