• Taliban's new order: Segregated classes, no mingling with male students outside classes, niqab must


    Kabul: Taliban in its latest decree for women wishing to attend classes in schools and universities, have formed a set of 'promising' rules in which Afghan women attending private Afghan universities must wear an abaya robe and niqab covering most of the face, and classes must be segregated by sex or at least divided by a curtain.

    The order also mentions of only female teachers will be allowed to teach female students, but if it is not possible then “old men” of good character could fill in.

    The decree applies to private colleges and universities, which have mushroomed since the Taliban's first rule ended in 2001.

    During that period, girls and women were mostly excluded from education because of rules regarding same-sex classrooms and the insistence they had to be accompanied by a male relative whenever they left the house.

    There was no order for women to wear the all-enveloping burqa in the new regulations issued late Saturday, but the niqab effectively covers most of the face anyway, leaving just the eyes exposed.

    Burqas and niqabs had largely vanished as more women participation in the public sphere began to take shape, giving them more freedom to achieve their dreams since the Taliban had seized to rule 20 years ago.

    The new decree comes as private universities prepare to open on Monday.

    "Universities are required to recruit female teachers for female students based on their facilities," the decree said, adding that men and women should use separate entrances and exits.

    If it is not possible to hire women teachers, then colleges "should try to hire old men teachers who have a good record of behaviour".

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