Male, female university students divided by curtains in Afghanistan
Female and male university students in Afghanistan are now being separated by curtains in class after the Taliban seized power.
Photos of students being segregated emerged as universities across the country resumed classes in the wake of the Taliban takeover and US troops withdrawing.
One image taken at Avicenna University in Kabul showed three gray curtains separating the women from men in a classroom. The female students could be seen wearing hijabs and long dresses.
The segregation is occurring at universities in the major cities of Kabul, Kandahar and Herat.
Teachers and students told Reuters that females were being separated in class, taught separately or restricted to certain parts of the campus.
“Putting up curtains is not acceptable,” Anjila, a 21-year-old student at Kabul University, told the outlet.
“I really felt terrible when I entered the class… We are gradually going back to 20 years ago.”
Anjila said she had to sit separately from her male classmates prior to the Taliban takeover, but there were never partitions set up in the room.
A journalism professor at Herat University told Reuters he was splitting his one-hour class into halves so he could teach females and men separately.
He said less than a quarter of his students showed up to class Monday.
“Students were very nervous today,” he said. “I told them to just keep coming and keep studying and in the coming days the new government will set the rules.”
A proposal for separating male and female students, which is yet to be approved by the Taliban, includes dividing the room with a curtain if it’s a mixed class.
Students also have to enter the classroom via separate entrances based on gender.
The Taliban has not commented on the proposal or the photos of men and women being separated in class.
The changes followed the Taliban’s acting education minister Abdul Baqi Haqqani revealing last week that women wouldn’t be allowed to study in the same room as men.
The Taliban has vowed to rule differently from when they were last in power in the 1990s, when women and girls were banned from going to school.
With Post wires