Rishi Sunak warned the Taliban that the “world is watching” after the Taliban banned women from attending universities in Afghanistan.
After the Taliban security forces in Kabul instructed all public and private universities to immediately stop access to female students, the group also ordered Taliban security forces to block women from entering universities.
Although the cabinet of the Taliban-led government made the decision, it has not provided any explanation and has not responded to international condemnation.
Mr Sunak has two young daughters and tweeted his disapproval.
“The women of Afghanistan are so rich in potential. It is a serious step backwards to deny them university access.
“The entire world is watching. “We will judge the Taliban based on their actions.”
Although the Taliban had initially pledged a more moderate rule that respected women’s rights and minorities, they have since widely applied their interpretation of Islamic law (or Sharia) since taking power in August 2013.
The Taliban reversed their decision to open all middle and high school for girls in March.
The de facto administration has not been officially recognized by the international community, which includes the US and Britain.
Washington stated that Washington must change its policy regarding women’s education before it can officially recognize the administration. This is a subject to severe sanctions.
James Cleverly, Foreign Secretary, also condemned the latest move and tweeted: “Simply abhorrent.
“The Taliban’s decision not to allow women to go to university shows their total disregard for fundamental freedoms.
“The UK is working together with our G7 partners in order to condemn and hold accountable those responsible.”
Barbara Woodward, Britain’s UN ambassador, stated that the latest suspension was an “other egregious curtailment women’s rights, and a deep, profound disappointment for all female students”.
She stated to the council that it was “another step by Taliban away from Afghanistan being self-reliant and prosperous.”
Sky News was told by a senior British diplomat who had been involved in ongoing discussions with Taliban officials that the ban was a major setback to negotiations.
They stated that it was a major blow to the country’s diplomatic relations, as well as its people.
The confirmation of university restrictions was made the same night that Roza Otunbayeva (UN secretary-general’s special representative to Afghanistan), said that the Taliban administration’s relationship had been “undermined” by the closing of schools.
She spoke at a UN Security Council session about Afghanistan and said that “as long as girls are excluded from school, and the de facto authorities continue not to address other concerns of the international community,” we will remain in an impasse.
Robert Wood, the US Deputy UN Ambassador, stated that the Taliban can’t expect to be considered a legitimate member the international community unless they respect all Afghans’ rights, particularly the fundamental freedoms of women and girls.