The Taliban said on Sunday (29) that they would allow women to attend universities during his rule, but study separately from men. The Islamic fundamentalist group, which returned to power in Afghanistan after 20 years, had promised not to ban girls and women from going to school, as it had done under its previous regime.
“The Afghan people will continue to pursue higher education in accordance with the rules of the Sharia [lei islâmica] which prohibits mixed classes, ”Taliban Minister of Higher Education Abdul Bqi Haqqani told a gathering of high-ranking members of the group.
He said the Taliban demand “the creation of a reasonable educational program which conforms to our Islamic, national and historical values and which, on the other hand, is capable of competing with other countries.” Boys and girls should also be separated in primary and secondary schools.
Permission, even under the influence of Sharia law, fits into the discourse of moderation the group is trying to achieve. The change in attitude, however, is viewed with skepticism. According to a student who worked in the university town under the last government, there were no women at the meeting – the minister only addressed male professors and students.
For her, this shows the systematic prevention of women’s participation in decision-making and the distance between the words of the Taliban and their actions. The number of university students has increased over the past 20 years, mainly among women who study with men and attend seminars given by male professors.
Since first speaking out after taking power, the fundamentalist group has waged a campaign to try to convince the country and the world that it will not repeat to the government the atrocious regime it has led. from 1996 to 2001.
In his first press conference since the Kabul takeover, spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the Taliban want peace, denied retaliation against former adversaries and said women’s rights will be protected – but the warning, within the “framework of Islam”, was already clear in this first statement.
At that time, Mujahid’s statement was reinforced by a speech by Enamullah Samangani, a member of the Taliban Cultural Commission, to Pakistani newspapers. “The Islamic Emirate does not want women to be victims. They must be in the structure of government according to Sharia law. Despite assurances, it was not clear what this structure would look like.
In the past, the radical interpretation of Islamic law has taken it to extremes in areas controlled by groups such as the Taliban, the Islamic State or the government of Saudi Arabia. Under the regime of the fundamentalist group in Afghanistan, for example, women were a prime target of brutal repression.
Although there are different degrees of application, as a rule, women are relegated to subordinate roles in public life and elevated to the status of “queens of the house”. In power, the Taliban have taken this aspect to a climax. Girls’ education had to be done at home, there was no public health for women, and bodies completely covered in burqas symbolized this repression in the West.
Burqas are traditional among the Pashtuns, the majority ethnic group in Afghanistan to which the Taliban belong, but their tenure has shocked the world. In practice, they have continued to be used by many women over the past 20 years, especially outside of Kabul. The Taliban have said they will demand the wearing of the hijab, the veil that covers the head and shoulders and leaves the face exposed.
During the two decades of Western presence, progress has been made. Schools and hospitals opened for women, they joined the military and police, and the United States spent $ 780 million on inclusion programs.