Afghan media reports say the Ministry of Higher Education yesterday postponed women higher education nationwide till the next order.

Pajhwok reports that the Ministry spokesman Ziaullah Hashami announced the development after sharing an official statement on his twitter handle in this regard.

“All state and public universities of the country are informed that based on the cabinet decision No. 28 women higher education is postponed till the next order,” the statement reads.

It added universities should take immediate step in this regard.

TOLOnews has published a letter from the ministry of higher education Tuesday evening, stating that girls are banned from attending universities until further notice.

In an official letter, the ministry of higher education has ordered all public and private universities to suspend female university students’ education until the next order.  Also, girls’ secondary and higher schools remain closed for the past year.

The Khaama Press news agency says the US Department of States Special Representative Thomas West on Twitter expressed his solidarity with the Afghan women and girls due to the freshly imposed restrictions.

The latest ban further restricts women's access to formal education, as they were already excluded from most secondary schools.

After the Taliban takeover last year, universities introduced gender segregated classrooms and entrances.  Female students could only be taught by women professors or old men.

Afghanistan's education sector was badly affected after the Taliban takeover and there has been an exodus of trained academics after the withdrawal of US-led forces last year.

The closure of girls’ schools has received reactions on national and international levels.  Many women protested and launched civil campaigns demanding their very natural and basic rights in different cities of Afghanistan. However, none of these efforts have yielded any positive results so far.  Besides ignoring these claims, the authorities of the de facto regime of Afghanistan started arresting and torturing these social activists.

In November, the authorities banned women from parks in the capital Kabul, claiming Islamic laws were not being followed there.

Currently, Afghanistan is the only Islamic country where girls beyond the primary level are not allowed to go to school.