Afghanistan protests: Taliban use water cannon on women opposing university ban

Water cannon in HeratSupplied

The Taliban have used a water cannon to disperse a group of women protesting against the ban on female students in Afghanistan attending university.

Videos on social media showed the women taking cover in a lane in the city of Herat to escape a powerful stream of water.

Dozens of women holding a protest march could be heard shouting slogans including: “Education is our right”.

In one clip, women could be heard shouting: “The Taliban are cowards.”

Earlier this week, the Islamist group banned female students from higher education, triggering an international outcry.

The Taliban said women had not been wearing appropriate Islamic attire at university and had been interacting with their male counterparts.

The new ban was implemented with immediate effect by Higher Education Minister Neda Mohammad Nadeem on Tuesday, with public and private universities ordered to bar women from attending.

Mr Nadeem said female students had been “dressing like they were going to a wedding”.

The Taliban arrested five women taking part in a protest in the Afghan capital, Kabul, earlier this week. Three journalists were also arrested.

Guards stopped hundreds of women from entering universities on Wednesday, a day after the ban was announced.

Girls in Afghanistan have already been excluded from most secondary schools.

The Taliban retook control of Afghanistan in 2021, two decades after being removed from power by a US-led military coalition.

Protesters in Herat