GENEVA (21 December 2022) — UN experts* today condemned in the strongest terms the latest decision of the Taliban that excludes women and girls from universities, a further violation of their human rights and the application of multiple irrational restrictions that may amount to gender persecution, a crime against humanity. Their statement is as follows:

“Yesterday’s announcement of cabinet decision number 28 to immediately suspend until further notice women and girls from universities across the country is a flagrant violation of their human rights enshrined in multiple international treaties, to which Afghanistan is a signatory and will lead to disastrous consequences for Afghans. We understand that only the Amir, Sheikh Haibatullah, and a handful of close advisers are seeking to deny education to women and girls beyond the primary level, as was the situation that pertained when the Taliban were last in power in the 1990s. Most Afghans, including some Taliban, do not support the exclusion of women and girls from the education system and are seriously concerned about the consequences for the whole nation. It is unparalleled globally and Afghan and other Islamic scholars say there is no religious or cultural justification for it.

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