Maryam, a 23-year-old political science student in Afghanistan, was finishing her university assignments on Tuesday evening, when her fiancé called to say that the Taliban had banned all women from universities.
“He told me, ‘I am very sorry, you will not be able to take your final exams; universities have closed for you.’ My heart has been bleeding since I heard those words,” she told Al Jazeera, choking back tears.
On Tuesday, the Taliban told all public and private universities to “[suspend] education of girls until further notice”, according to a statement issued by the Taliban’s Minister of Higher Education Nida Mohammad Nadim said.
The Taliban did not give a reason for the ban. The Ministry of Higher Education did not respond to Al Jazeera’s request for comment.
The gates of several prominent universities were blocked by Taliban vehicles on Wednesday morning in an attempt to prevent women from entering campuses, several students told Al Jazeera.
The ban came after women in Afghanistan had taken university entrance tests in October.
Girls have already been banned from high schools since the Taliban seized control of the country last year.
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