Women forced to attend pro-Taliban protest
News Desk || risingbd.com
Scores of Afghan women were forced by the Taliban to attend at Kabul University dressed in head-to-toe black robes that they had distributed on the anniversary of 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Those who dared to refuse, say students, were to be expelled. The women were made to hold placards in support of the Taliban and its strict interpretation of Islam, including separate education for men and women.
The Taliban's interim government, drawn from their own loyalist ranks, has hardliners in all key posts and no women - far removed from the "inclusive" administration it had promised.
It has also reinstated the feared Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, which arrested and punished people for failing to implement the movement's restrictive interpretation of sharia law.
Under new rules, women may work "in accordance with the principles of Islam", the Taliban have decreed, but is short on details.
Afghan women will be allowed to attend university as long as they study separately from men, the Taliban's new higher education minister said Sunday.
Minister Abdul Baqi Haqqani was unapologetic about bringing an end to mixed sex classes.
"We have no problems in ending the mixed-education system," he said. "The people are Muslims and they will accept it."
Earlier this month the Taliban had announced that they 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.
Taliban spokesperson Sayed Zekrullah Hashimi in comments to TOLO News, Afghanistan's first independent news channel, said women can't be ministers, they should give birth.
"A woman can't be a minister, it is like you put something on her neck that she can't carry. It is not necessary for women to be in the cabinet - they should give birth. Women protesters can't represent all women in Afghanistan," he had said.