Clerics call on Taliban to lift restrictions against women

A number of tribal elders and religious scholars from Nangarhar province in the east of Afghanistan addressed a gathering in Jalalabad city on Tuesday evening and called on the Taliban to remove bans on women’s education and work.

In December 2022, the Taliban banned women from attending universities and working in non-governmental organizations. Also, secondary schools have closed for girls for the past 500 days.

The clerics said the Taliban should provide women with access to education and work – under Islamic principles, and afford them opportunities for self-development.

Mawlawi Ziaulhaq, a religious scholar who attended the event, said education and work are fundamental rights of all people in society and the ruling government is responsible for providing the ground for these opportunities.

“Afghanistan needs education to improve the situation and we hope that they (the Taliban) would remove the ban on women’s education and provide fair ground for their return to schools and jobs,” said Ziaulhaq.

Tribal elders from Nangarhar said the bans on women and girls’ education have created despair among the people.

“We are not against an Islamic system but we hope that the Taliban will provide the ground for girls’ education,” said Abdullah, a tribal elder from Nangarhar.

Taliban has banned women from attending parks, sports clubs, schools, universities and their jobs in NGOs. In a recent move in January, the Taliban asked private universities to avoid enrolling women for annual university entrance exams.