Afghanistan’s main universities reopened Saturday six months after the Taliban returned to power, but only a trickle of women returned to now-segregated classes.

Most secondary schools for girls and all public universities were shuttered following the Taliban’s August 15 takeover, sparking fears women would be barred from education — as happened during the first rule of the hardline Islamists, from 1996-2001.

The Taliban insist they will allow girls and women to be educated this time around — but only in segregated classes and according to an Islamic curriculum.

Some public tertiary institutions in the south of the country resumed last month, but on Saturday Kabul University, the oldest and biggest with a student body of around 25,000 last year, re-opened without fanfare — and few students in attendance.

Source: AFP