Taliban recently announced that Afghan Girls Schools would remain closed hours after they reopened for the first time in 7 months. This U-turn prevents female students above 6th grade to attend school. When the Taliban took over Afghanistan after US withdrawal in August 2021, girls have not returned to school. On Wednesday, 23rd March 2022, they were excited to restart their education, but the Taliban once again crushed their dreams.
The decision has sparked an outcry on social media, with several humanitarian organizations and rights activists coming forward to condemn the Taliban.
Afghan Girls Schools Will Remain Closed Until Further Notice
According to reports, a notice from the Ministry of Education said that Afghan Girls Schools would remain close until they draw up a plan in line with “Islamic Law and Afghan Culture”. All girls in 6 grade and above will be off from school untill further notice. The ministry failed to explain the reason for this move.
The girls who were eagerly waiting for this day have faced huge disappointment. Critics have argued that the Taliban administration is unreliable and cannot deliver on its promises. Many feel that the Taliban are still against girls’ education and their soft image is all a ruse to attract international support. Noble laureate Malala Yousafzai said that the Taliban will always find some excuse to stop girls from gaining education due to their anti-women empowerment mentality.
International Community Asks for Swift Action
During their previous rule from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban banned women from education and also employment. With their second administration, the Taliban promised to change, and the international community demanded to make girls’ education a must if they wanted to get global recognition. However, that did not happen, and United Nations stated to restart Afghan Girls Schools as soon as possible. This delay violates the equal rights to education for women.
According to reports, the ministry also mentioned that it was facing a shortage of teachers due to tens of thousands of people fleeing Afghanistan in fear of the Taliban. Ministry said that it was trying to hire new teachers on a temporary basis.
Will Restrictions on Women Ever End?
When the Taliban captured the country last year, schools were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. 2 months later, only boys and younger girls were allowed to resume school, but Afghan Girls Schools remained closed for 12 to 19 years old girls. The Taliban assured that they would reopen them with segregation under “Islamic principles”.
The extremist group has also imposed countless restrictions on the freedom of women. They face objections on their clothes, work in government jobs, and even travel without a male companion. Critics argue that even if schools reopen, many barriers would still remain. Families who fear the Taliban will still be reluctant to allow their daughters outside the house. Many also debate about the very point of girls’ education because how can they apply education with all these restrictions? According to reports, many girls quit school themselves because of this uncertainty around women living their lives as individual people in Afghanistan.
While the Taliban were attacking Afghanistan in a lightning offence, many civilians gathered in protest and chanted Allah Hu Akbar to support the security forces. They knew that the Taliban had to be taken down; otherwise, they would make women’s lives a living hell.