diplomatic missions react against Taliban ban

Diplomatic missions condemn Taliban’s latest women ban

The UN, US, Japan, and Germany missions for Afghanistan have condemned the Taliban’s latest restriction on women. On Saturday, the group’s Ministry of Higher Education issued an order banning female students from across Afghanistan to take part in university entrance exams in the spring.

“The latest decree by #Afghanistan’s de facto authorities barring girls from sitting university entry exams is another step in the wrong direction, and against prior commitments universities would reopen for women in March,” the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a tweet on Monday. It called on the Taliban to reverse this decision.

The Japanese embassy in Kabul expressed disappointment over the ban, urging the group to reconsider the decision and provide equal education opportunities for women.

Karen Decker, Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Mission to Afghanistan, questioned the Taliban promises that they will “soon” reopen schools to girls. Adding the ban will result in a “future of poverty” for Afghanistan.

“This decision will deprive the country of its most valuable asset, the intelligence of half of its people. The consequence will be less development, less progress and therefore more suffering for all Afghans,” the German embassy said.

Shortly after returning to power in August 2021, the Taliban banned girls from secondary schools, and in December last year, it ordered a ban on women from universities, which the group defended as “necessary to prevent the mixing of genders.” Despite international condemnations, the Taliban leadership have refused to change course on restrictions on women and girls.