Afghanistan protests: Taliban use water cannon on women opposing university ban

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Afghanistan protests: Taliban use water cannon on women opposing university ban

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Water cannon in Herat
Image caption,Protesters were dispersed with a water cannon

The Taliban have used a water cannon to disperse a group of women protesting against the ban on female students in Afghanistan attending university.

Video on social media shows women taking cover in a lane in the city of Herat to escape a stream of water.

Dozens of women holding a protest march could be heard shouting slogans including: “Education is our right”.

In one clip, women could be heard shouting: “The Taliban are cowards.”

Women have also been banned from working for national and international NGOs, confirmed Abdel Rahman Habib, spokesman for the ministry of economy.

He said a letter had been sent to NGOs imposing a ban “until further notice” and offered the reason that women were not following Sharia law with respect to their wearing of the hijab.

Earlier this week, the Taliban’s ban on female students attending higher education triggered an international outcry.

The Taliban said women had not been wearing appropriate Islamic attire at university and had been interacting with their male counterparts.

The new ban was implemented with immediate effect by Higher Education Minister Neda Mohammad Nadeem on Tuesday, with public and private universities ordered to bar women from attending.

Mr Nadeem said female students had been “dressing like they were going to a wedding”.

The Taliban arrested five women taking part in a protest in the Afghan capital, Kabul, earlier this week. Three journalists were also arrested.

Guards stopped hundreds of women from entering universities on Wednesday, a day after the ban was announced.

Girls in Afghanistan have already been excluded from most secondary schools.

The Taliban retook control of Afghanistan in 2021, two decades after being removed from power by a US-led military coalition.

Protesters in Herat
Image caption,Women protesters attended a march against the Taliban’s ban on female students attending university

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