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Friday, Feb 03, 2023

Taliban ban on female university students starts to bite

Taliban ban on female university students starts to bite

Marwa was just a few months away from becoming the first woman in her Afghan family to go to university. Instead, she will watch, achingly, as her brother goes without her.
Marwa, 19, was just a few months away from becoming the first woman in her Afghan family to go to university. Instead, she will watch on -- achingly -- as her brother goes without her.

The Taliban has recently banned women from attending universities effective immediately.

"I was heartbroken. I can't describe in words how I felt the day I got the news," she said.

"Even if they decided to behead women, it would have been better than this ban.

"We are being treated worse than animals. Animals can go anywhere on their own but we girls don't have the right even to step out of their homes."

Afghanistan's rulers have said the order was brought in because female students were not respecting their interpretation of the dress codes.

But Marwa's brother, Hamid, said this was simply not true. 

"When universities opened under the Taliban, different days were specified for boys and girls," he said.

"They (the girls) were not allowed to enter unless they wore a mask and a hijab. How then can they (the Taliban) say they were without hijabs?"

Marwa had recently passed an entrance exam to start a nursing degree at a medical university in Kabul. But now, her future is much less certain.
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