Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the foreign minister of Iran, said at a meeting with Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, the foreign minister of Qatar, that the banning of women from education in Afghanistan is wrong and is against Islamic principles.
Speaking at the meeting, Abdollahian said that Tehran is ready to work with the current Afghan administration to provide educational facilities for women and girls in Afghanistan.
"We consider denying Afghan women and girls an education a wrong action in conflict with the teachings of the merciful religion of Islam," Abdollahian said.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) called the decree preventing the registration of women in the university entrance exams disappointing, and asked the Islamic Emirate to reconsider its decision.
“OIC General Secretariat expressed its disappointment over the decision announced on Saturday 28/1/2023 by de facto Administration in Afghanistan, banning female students from taking university entrance exams this year in all public and private universities across the country,” OIC tweeted.
"The Islamic Emirate should share its plan for the educational process with the Afghan people as soon as possible,” said Mawlawi Hasibullah Hanafi, a religious cleric.
Female students meanwhile asked the Islamic Emirate to remove ban on girls’ education and to reopen schools and universities for them.
“We ask the Islamic Emirate to open the doors of schools and universities to students,” said Negina, a student.
"The restrictions they imposed are not acceptable from the perspective of Islam or the people of the world, and I hope that they would lift these restrictions so that the women of Afghanistan can continue to grow as they have in the past," said Manizha, another student.
Stefania Giannini, assistant director general for education at UNESCO, criticized the continued ban on women’s and girls’ education in Afghanistan.
“Currently, all Afghan girls and women above the age of 12 are denied access to secondary schools and, more recently, to universities following the decisions of the de facto authorities,” Giannini said.
Nearly 500 days have passed since girls in Afghanistan were denied access to education, and, most recently, the Ministry of Higher Education ordered private universities and other higher education institutions to forbid girls from enrolling in admission tests.