Taliban fatwa: Women may study in classrooms where there are no men, hijabs to stay

Women in Afghanistan may go to schools and universities, however, they will have to study in segregated schools where there are going to be no men.

The minister of education, Abdul Baqi Haqqani spoke about the new plans and policies at a press conference, after Afghanistan’s new rulers formed the government.

He also emphasised that Islamic dress is compulsory, the higher education minister in the new Taliban government said on Sunday.

The world has been watching closely to see to what extent the Taliban might act differently from their first time in power, in the late 1990s.

During that era, women were denied educationin its absolute sense, and were excluded from social and public life either.

The Taliban have suggested they have changed, including in their attitudes toward women.

However, they have used violence in recent days against women protesters who demanded equal rights.

Haqqani said the Taliban did not want to turn the clock back 20 years. “We will start building on what exists today,” he said.

However, women university students will face restrictions under the Taliban, including a compulsory dress code. Haqqani said hijabs will be mandatory but did not specify if this meant compulsory headscarves or also face covers.

Women segregation will also be enforced, he said. “We will not allow boys and girls to study together,” he said. “We will not allow co-education.”