Kabul: The Taliban’s Higher Education Minister, Abdul Baqi Haqqani, on Sunday said the women in Afghanistan will be allowed to attend universities as long as they study separately from men.
“We have no problems in ending the mixed-education system,” Haqqani told reporters about the new regime’s plans for the country’s education.
“The people are Muslims and they will accept it,” he added, AFP reported.
Haqqani further said that Afghanistan’s education system had changed greatly since the Taliban’s last time in power when the women were effectively barred from the schools and universities.
Stating the number of educational institutions has “increased dramatically” compared to the past, the Taliban’s Higher Education Minister said: “This gives us hope for a future, prosperous and self-sufficient Afghanistan… we will continue from where they were left.”
Haqqani also downplayed fears that the new rules would exclude the women because the universities do not have the resources to provide separate classes.
He categorically stated there were enough female teachers, adding alternatives could be found without breaching rules where they were not available.
Asserting “it all depends on the university’s capacity”, he said: “We can also use male teachers to teach from behind a curtain or use technology.”
The Taliban had earlier this month announced that women could still study at university if they wore an ‘abaya robe’ and ‘niqab’ covering most of the face, with classes segregated by sex or at least divided by a curtain.
The Taliban, which seized control of the Afghan capital in mid-August, have said they want to distance themselves from the harsher old policies when half the population was excluded from work and education.
The women’s rights in Afghanistan were sharply curtailed under the Taliban rule earlier from 1996 to 2001.