'Curtain of separation' divides female and male university students in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Colleges in Afghanistan have started re-opening for the first time since the Taliban captured the nation. The classes in university resumed on Monday but with a "Curtain of Separation". The female and male students of the class have been separated by a trail of curtains or boards.
Photographs shared by Avicenna University in Kabul, and widely circulated on social media, show a grey curtain running down the center of the classroom, with female students wearing long robes and head coverings but their faces visible.
Earlier, the Taliban had ordered that the women attending private Afghan universities must wear an abaya robe and niqab covering most of the face and classes must be segregated on the basis of genders — or at least divided by a curtain.
The foreign powers are closely monitoring the environment of universities and schools, as they want the Islamist militant movement to respect the rights of women in return for vital aid and diplomatic engagement.
When the Taliban earlier ruled Afghanistan in 1996, they had banned girls from school and women from university and work. Teachers and students at universities in Afghanistan's largest cities - Kabul, Kandahar, and Herat - told Reuters that female students were being segregated in class, taught separately, or restricted to certain parts of the campus.
A senior Taliban official told Reuters that classroom dividers such as curtains were "completely acceptable", and that given Afghanistan's "limited resources and manpower" it was best to "have the same teacher teaching both sides of a class."
The return of the Taliban in Afghanistan has alarmed many women in the nation. The women fear they will lose the rights that they have fought for in the last two decades.
(With Agency Inputs)
Posted By: Ashita Singh