Academic Freedom and Opportunities for Afghan Scholars

Academic Freedom and Opportunities for Afghan Scholars



Aziz Mohibbi
The former Chancellor of Bamiyan University in Afghanistan and a SAR scholar hosted jointly by Trinity College Dublin and Maynooth University.
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In one year, the Taliban have reversed what Afghans together with the international community and allies have achieved over the last 20 years. The fall of the Afghan government in mid-August last year dramatically impacted the higher education sector in Afghanistan. A significant number of Afghan scholars and academics, who feared persecution by the de facto authority due to their scholarly views and activities, have now fled the country. Organization autonomy has been jeopardized with the de-facto government replacing qualified academics with Taliban fighters. On the hand, scholars and professors can’t express their idea because of fear of torture and imprisonment.
Moreover, the Taliban have targeted almost every aspect of women’s life, especially in education. They have banned women from secondary education. They have physically targeted women who voiced their protests. They have dismantled key institutions that drive women’s upward moment. This talk will focus on how individual rights, academic freedom, and organizational autonomy within the education sector of Afghanistan have been impacted by the de facto government. This talk will also highlight similar challenges that Iran has faced in regards to academic freedom to provide recommendations for supporting scholars, students, and women in Afghanistan.

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