Afghanistan: Male students boycott classes over ban on women’s education

Male students have been boycotting classes and exams over the past five days after the Taliban announced the suspension of higher education for female students across the country “until the next announcement.”

The first move was made by a number of male students from the medical faculty of Nangarhar University in the east of Afghanistan early this week, who walked out of exams in protest over the Taliban’s decision.

The move was replicated for the rest of the week by male students in Kabul, Herat, Bamiyan and Kandahar provinces. But in Kandahar, students from Mirwais Nika University in the city of Kandahar were beaten up by the Taliban for not attending their classes and exams.

Male students from the economics faculty of Bamiyan University in central Afghanistan meanwhile started boycotting their classes until universities reopen to women, while male students from all faculties at Herat University wrote separate letters to the university’s directorate informing them of their boycott of classes until the Taliban’s rule is overturned.

In Kabul, male students have also shown solidarity with their female peers and have started boycotting classes at a number of private higher education institutions, including Afghan Pamir.

The announcement by the Taliban triggered a worldwide outcry.

However, the Taliban has said that objections by the international community are seen as an interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs.