The Taliban has claimed that Afghan women and girls are not permanently banned from attending schools and universities but that their education is being “postponed” till they create a conducive environment for them.
“I would like to make it clear that it is not a permanent ban on women’s education, it has been postponed until a conducive environment is created for their education,” the caretaker government’s spokesperson Suhail Shaheen said.
He added that the hardline government is working in full swing to achieve the claimed conducive situation “as soon as possible”, reported the South China Morning Post on Monday.
The Taliban leaders, he said, were not “against women’s education per se” but wanted women to “receive education in an environment compliant with our values and rules”.
He did not share further details of the terms under which the government has prohibited women from studying in Afghanistan.
Girls in the country are not allowed to pursue formal education after class 6.
This comes weeks after the Taliban banned all women from attending college and universities until further notice, sparking protests as the move has resulted in a full ban on girls and women pursuing education in the country.
The Taliban defended the move by blaming female students for not donning the hijab properly and pursuing subjects of science that do not match “Afghanistan culture”.
“We told girls to have proper hijab but they didn’t and they wore dresses like they are going to a wedding ceremony,” the caretaker government’s education minister Nida Mohammad Nadim said in December last year after massive backlash over the move.
“Girls were studying agriculture and engineering, but this didn’t match Afghan culture. Girls should learn, but not in areas that go against Islam and Afghan honour,” the Taliban leader said.
In late December, the United Nations Security Council asked the Taliban to implement full, equal and meaningful participation of girls and women in its regime in Afghanistan and urged it to roll back its “unjustifiable” decree.
The Taliban edict is “relentless misogyny,” said the agency and added it was “a virulent attack on women, their contribution, their freedom and their voice”.