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On Sunday, Abdul Baqi Haqqani, the higher education minister of the interim Taliban government stated that girls, women in Afghanistan can continue to pursue their study in universities, including the post-graduate level, but it is mandatory for them to wear the Islamic dress and the classes would be segregated gender basis.

The new policies were laid out by Haqqani during a press conference several days after the Taliban formulated an all-male government.

The international community has been keeping a close eye on the actions of the Taliban, and observing how differently the Taliban is acting from their first time in power in the late 1990s. During their first rule, girls and women were denied their right to education and were excluded from public life.

Education minister Haqqani stated that they will start building based on what exists today, as the Taliban does not want to turn the clock 20 years back.

Female university students have been allowed to pursue their studies, but they will have to face restrictions imposed by the Taliban, including a compulsory dress code. The education minister said that the hijab will be mandatory, however, he did not specify whether headscarves or face coverings will also be compulsory.

Furthermore, Haqqani stated that gender segregation will be enforced, as they will not allow co-education, and will not allow boys and girls to study together.

The education minister also stated that the subjects that are being taught in universities will also be reviewed, but he did not elaborate on what he meant. During the Taliban’s first time in power, they banned music and art.