SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: April 04, 2022

Attack Types: Other

Institution(s):Various Institutions

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Afghanistan

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On April 4, 2022, it was reported that Afghanistan’s Ministry of Higher Education informed higher education institutions to enforce gender segregation in scientific conferences and programs.

The letter states that female professors are banned from attending men’s scientific conferences; academic programs must be separated by gender; and at graduation ceremonies, female students must wear the hijab and are not permitted to post videos or photos of such events on social media.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about government orders to enforce gender-based restrictions on the exercise of academic freedom and the right to education. State authorities and de facto governing forces have a responsibility to refrain from such restrictions and should respect and promote academic freedom and the right to education. Efforts to restrict participation in academic events on the basis of gender undermine academic freedom, the right to education, and democratic society generally.