Taliban rulers in Afghanistan have banned female students from attending universities effective immediately.
The decision is the latest to come from the Taliban regarding women's rights and freedoms.
Already, the Taliban has banned girls from middle school and high school, restricted employment opportunities for women, and ordered them to wear head-to-toe clothing in public. Women are also not allowed in parks and gyms, CBN News reports.
Ziaullah Hashmi, a ministry of higher education spokesman, said the ban is expected to be implemented immediately.
"I can't fulfill my dreams, my hopes. Everything is disappearing before my eyes, and I can't do anything about it," a third-year journalism and communication student at Nangarhar University said.
"Is being a girl a crime? If that's the case, I wish I wasn't a girl," she added. "My father had dreams for me, that his daughter would become a talented journalist in the future. That is now destroyed. So, you tell me, how will a person feel in this situation?"
She said she was looking at online courses to continue her education.
"God willing, I will continue my studies in any way. I'm starting online studies. And, if it doesn't work, I will have to leave the country and go to another country," she said.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the Taliban's decision "very troubling."
"It's difficult to imagine how a country can develop, can deal with all of the challenges that it has, without the active participation of women and the education," Guterres said.
Naseer Ahmad Faiq, Afghanistan's chargé d'affaires, said at the U.N. that the decision "marks a new low in violation of most fundamental and universal human rights for all of humanity."
Deputy U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Robert Wood said the Taliban will not be accepted as a legitimate member of the international community until the country begins to respect all Afghans' rights.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Natanael Ginting
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.