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Taliban gives green light to education, but not without the great divide



As Afghan women return to the classroom, they’re confronted with a flash from the past as hierarchy comes to the education system.

Women’s rights at stake in Afghanistan

For the first time since the Taliban’s takeover, students are returning to their studies at Afghanistan universities.

Female students are among those included in the return, a move many thought wouldn’t happen under the group’s governance.

But it doesn’t come without change.

Afghan women now have to learn with a curtain or board placed in the middle of the classroom to divide them from their male counterparts.

Meanwhile, other reports suggest female students are excluded from sections of the university altogether.

On a path to traditional ways

Many Afghan women feared their right to accessing education would be revoked under the Taliban.

While this isn’t the case, many feel that they’re on a path to returning to traditional ways.

“Putting up curtains is not acceptable,” Anjila, a 21-year-old student at Kabul University who returned to find her classroom partitioned, told Reuters.

“I really felt terrible when I entered the class … We are gradually going back to 20 years ago.”

A document circulating private universities suggests new guidelines and policies women must follow if they wish to return to campus.

Such new rules include mandatory wearing of hijabs and separate entrances for women.

It’s also been reported that female teachers are only allowed to teach a female cohort in some circumstances.

While it’s unclear if this document is from the Taliban, a spokesperson told Reuters that dividers in classrooms to separate male and female congregations is acceptable and that they ask women to keep studying.

Are they really supporting women’s rights?

Under the Taliban’s previous rule from 1996 to 2001, girls and women were banned from attending school and work.

But as the group works to uphold their promise in supporting women’s rights, this rule has been overturned for now.

It comes as the Taliban acts on their bid to support women’s rights however authorities aren’t holding their breath about what this means and how this will pan out in practice.

Classes were mostly empty on Monday, with many students and teachers fleeing the country in the weeks prior.

A journalism professor at Herat University told Reuters that less than a quarter of his 120 student cohort attended class, with many unsure if they had made the right decision.

“Students were very nervous today,” he said.

“I told them to just keep coming and keep studying and in the coming days the new government will set the rules.”

Written by Rebecca Borg

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TikTok implements stricter guidelines on weight-loss drug promotion



TikTok is tightening its regulations on influencers who promote weight-loss drugs like Ozempic.

With over 170 million users in the US, the app aims to prevent the spread of potentially harmful content related to rapid weight loss.

Starting in May, TikTok will prohibit influencers from posting “before-and-after” photos and restrict minors from accessing weight-loss content deemed risky. The crackdown extends to any content promoting drastic weight loss methods, aiming to combat the promotion of unrealistic body standards.

However, some influencers, like Dave Knapp and Kim Carlos, criticise the move, arguing it discriminates against those with health conditions. Others fear losing their income as TikTok takes down their content, prompting concerns about the platform’s future amid potential US bans.

As TikTok enforces stricter guidelines, influencers may seek alternative platforms to share weight-loss content. Despite the popularity of drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy, the crackdown reflects growing concerns about the impact of such promotions on user health.

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Game on with indie devs celebrated by Nintendo



Nintendo Switch fans rejoice! The recent Indie World Showcase unveiled 17 new titles coming in 2024.

Including in the rundown is the adorable “Little Kitty, Big City” and explosive platformer “Anton Blast.” In other news, “Stellar Blade” confirms an uncensored release on PlayStation 5, Fallout’s TV adaptation gears up for Season 2, and Keanu Reeves joins the cast of Sonic 3 as Shadow. New releases this week include “Tales of Kenzera: Zau” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants,” while “Fallout 4” gets a next-gen update. With “Stellar Blade” topping the list, gamers have plenty to look forward to in the coming weeks.

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What are the major takeaways from day one of Trump’s trial?



The first day of Donald Trump’s criminal hush money trial that the former president broke the law and corrupted the 2016 election, while his defence lawyer said he committed no crime.

On this episode of Ticker Today – Former President Donald Trump’s hush money trial is officially underway, President Joe Biden makes cannibal claims, TikTok US ban enters the next phase and Gen Z’s are dropping degrees and picking up tools to become blue-collar workers.

Ticker’s Ahron Young and Veronica Dudo discuss.

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