Female and male students separated by curtains as classes resume in Afghanistan universities

Female and male students separated by curtains as classes resume in Afghanistan universities

Burqas and niqabs have largely disappeared from the streets of Kabul in recent years, although they are more common in smaller cities and towns.

In Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, university courses begin with a "curtain of separation."

Pictures shared by local media show men and women sitting on two opposite sides of the classroom with curtains between them.

The Taliban had previously mandated that women attending private Afghan institutions wear an abaya robe and niqab that covered the majority of their faces, and that classes be divided by gender — or at the very least, by a curtain.

Burqas and niqabs have largely disappeared from the streets of Kabul in recent years, although they are more common in smaller cities and towns.

Female and male students separated by curtains as classes resume in Afghanistan universities
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Women must now study separately from men and must end their lessons five minutes sooner than men in order to prevent them from mixing outside.

According to the Taliban higher education ministry's directive, they must then remain in waiting rooms until their male colleagues have exited the building.

According to the Taliban, universities are expected to hire female teachers for female students based on their facilities, and men and women should use separate entrances and exits.

If hiring women professors is not possible, institutions should "try to hire old male teachers with a good record of behaviour," according to a paper issued by the Taliban's education ministry.

Meanwhile, senior Taliban commanders have selected Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund as the new head of state following days of deliberations, according to a media source.

According to The News International, the new administration is expected to be installed on Wednesday, "or may be postponed for a few more days."

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