Afghanistan’s universities are ready to readmit female students, but the ruling Taliban’s leader has the ultimate say on when that might happen — if it happens at all, an education official said Saturday.
The Taliban barred women from campuses last December, triggering global outrage. Girls had been banned from school beyond sixth grade soon after the Taliban returned to power in August 2021. Afghanistan is the only country in the world with bans on female education.
Afghanistan’s higher education minister, Nida Mohammed Nadim, said at the time the university ban was necessary to prevent the mixing of genders and because he believed some subjects being taught violated the principles of Islam.
He said the ban, issued from the southern city of Kandahar by the Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada, was in place until further notice.
An adviser at the Higher Education Ministry, Molvi Abdul Jabbar, said universities were ready to readmit female students as soon as Akhundzada gives the order for the ban to be lifted. He was unable to say when or if that would happen.