A group of women took to the streets in the Afghan city of Herat on Saturday to protest a Taliban order this week to suspend all female students. He joins the university in the country.
Videos of Taliban officers using water cannons to disperse female protesters are circulating on social media.
Women were seen running from the water cannon and chanting “cowards” at the officers.
That was the Taliban’s announcement this week Discontinue university education For female students, it is the latest step in a clampdown on the freedom of Afghan women.
The move comes despite the group’s pledge to respect women’s rights when it returned to power last year.
It followed a similar move in March this year, banning girls from returning to secondary schools.
Male students at universities across the country are boycotting their exams to protest the latest academic ban.
“Education is the duty of both men and women,” read a statement issued by the Mirwais Nikah Institute of Higher Education in Kandahar on Saturday. “It is the fundamental right and secret of the country’s development and self-reliance.”
The students initially asked Taliban officials to withdraw the ban, but the school said there was “no positive response” – prompting a boycott out of “dissatisfaction and unhappiness”.
A university official told CNN that the decision to ignore the students’ admission tests could lead to the suspension of classes.
The Taliban returned to power in a lightning takeover following the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan in August 2021, having previously ruled the country from 1996 to 2001 – a US-led invasion forced the group from power.
Under its previous regime, the group was notorious for treating women as second-class citizens.
After taking power last year, the group made numerous promises to protect the rights of women and girls.
But activists say the Taliban have reneged on their word and are steadily taking away women’s freedoms again.
Saturday, group ordered All local and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the country prevent women workers from going to work. Failure to comply will result in cancellation of NGO licenses, an official ministry notification said.
A spokesperson told CNN that the action was taken due to non-compliance with the Islamic dress code and other laws and regulations of the Islamic emirate.
Afghan women cannot work in most fields.
Their travel rights are also severely restricted and access to public spaces is significantly reduced. Women must cover themselves completely in public – including their faces.