Taliban Begin to Expel Women from Education

One month after the Taliban seized Afghanistan, girls have not returned to high schools. In this private university, the classrooms have been divided by curtains. 


AFGHANOTES is the testimony of a team of Afghan journalists  reporting  the events and daily life in Afghanistan for Outriders since the Taliban swept into Kabul on August 15, 2021.

KABUL, Afghanistan – Following the fall of Kabul, Salgai, daughter of Musakhan, stood as the topper of Kankor, Afghanistan’s annual nationwide university entrance exam.

Female participants formed around 40% of the Kankor takers in Kabul.

When we visited this university on September 6th classrooms had become gender-segregated. 

The universities have to build gender-segregated passages and any classroom with more than 15 female students has to be separated.

“Entrance for women,” reads a white paper on a wall.

“According to the Ministry of Higher Education records, women account for nearly 30% of students at private and state-run universities as of 1397 Afghan Education Calendar (2018)”, a Public Relations Officer of Avicenna University says. 

“Higher education is part of civil and social participation,” he continues. “The newly adopted exclusive social policies for women participation could demotivate women substantially to earn higher education,” he adds.

Women’s education has been one of the main concerns for many students since the Taliban seized control of the country. While the Taliban were in power in Afghanistan in the 1990s, women were banned from studying or working.

On Saturday 18, high schools resumed for boys. The decree allowing boys and male teachers to return did not mention girls, who continue at home. It raises fears that female students older than six grade could be permanently banned from education as the Taliban did in the past. For now, a grey curtain separates the desks of male and female students in this private university in Kabul.