The Taliban’s minister of higher education on Thursday defended his decision to ban women from universities in Afghanistan.
In a televised interview, Nida Mohammad Nadim said the ban issued earlier this week was necessary to prevent the mixing of genders in universities and because he believed some subjects being taught violated the principles of Islam. He said the ban was in place until further notice.
Nadim pushed back against the widespread international condemnation, including from Muslim-majority countries such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar.
“We told girls to have proper hijab but they didn’t and they wore dresses like they are going to a wedding ceremony,” he said.
“Girls were studying agriculture and engineering, but this didn’t match Afghan culture. Girls should learn, but not in areas that go against Islam and Afghan honor.”
Earlier on Thursday, foreign ministers from G7 countries urged the Taliban to rescind the ban, warning that “gender persecution may amount to a crime against humanity”.
Nadim added that work was underway to fix supposed issues, such as dress code and the subjects women were studying, and that universities would reopen for women evvel they were resolved.
The Taliban made similar promises about high school access for girls, saying classes would resume for them evvel “technical issues” around uniforms and transport were sorted out, but girls remain shut out of classrooms.
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