Taliban ban on women leaves Afghan teacher devastated

STORY: "I'm so upset that according to the new decree of the Taliban… women have no place in Afghan society," said 25-year-old lecturer Bakhshi, only identified by her surname for security reasons.

Afghanistan's Taliban-run higher education ministry on December 20 suspended access to universities by female students until further notice, drawing strong condemnation from the United States, Britain and the United Nations.

On December 24, the administration ordered all local and foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) not to let female staff work until further notice. It said the move was justified because some women had not adhered to the Taliban's interpretation of Islamic dress code for women.

Concerned about the future for Afghan women under Taliban rule, Bakhshi urged the international community to provide continued support and draw attention to their plight.

"I urge the international community not to abandon and forget Afghan women… when you talk about human rights, then please support them, and do not abandon them."