Videos of women students crying outside Kabul University have been accessed by The Quint, hours after the Taliban on Tuesday, 20 December, announced that they will no longer be allowed to attend higher education institutions in Afghanistan.
Sources told The Quint that male students of Nangarhar University in the country, meanwhile, are protesting the ban, in solidarity with the women.
Why this matters: The regressive move further restricts access to education for women. Younger girls have already been excluded from secondary schools for more than a year now.
The big point: Women have practically disappeared from public spaces in Afghanistan since the Taliban assumed power in 2021, with the group banning them from public parks and gyms just a month ago.
Who said what:
The UN's Special Rapporteur to Afghanistan said it was "a new low further violating the right to equal education and deepens the erasure of women from Afghan society."
The US, in a statement, said: "No country can thrive when half of its population is held back."
"Today we come out on the streets of Kabul to raise our voices against the closure of the girls' universities," said protesters from the Afghanistan Women's Unity and Solidarity group.
In February, women working in Afghanistan's government departments were instructed by the Taliban's religious police to cover themselves, even with a blanket, or risk losing their jobs.
According to local media sources, the Taliban leadership in Afghanistan is also refusing to grant driving permits to women in Kabul and other regions of the nation.
(With inputs from Deepa Parent)