Taliban Have Just Banned Girls From Secondary Education
The Taliban has reportedly banned girls from continuing secondary education.
According to reports coming out of Afghanistan, the Taliban have made an announcement that it will be re-opening high schools in the region. That said, the re-opening of those schools will only be for male students. Girls have now been banned from secondary education.
Schools in Afghanistan have been closed for one month and the Taliban have promised to re-open them. However, this latest development puts the future of Afghan women’s education in serious jeopardy.
The new announcement contradicts what the Taliban previously said on women’s education, having said they could study, but classrooms would have to be segregated.
Last week amid fears for people’s lives under the militant group’s rule, the Taliban claimed an ‘amnesty’ had been declared that would allow women to study up to university level, work and even govern. So far, there’s been reports of violence and executions, a ban on women playing sport and images of classrooms separated by curtains.
On Friday, the Taliban education ministry released a statement outlining plans for boys in grades seven to 12 to return to school on Saturday. The statement said, ‘All male teachers and students should attend their educational institutions.’ With the omission of female students from the announcement, boys will be returning to school, but girls will not.
Afghanistan has now become the only country in the world to deny education to half its population.
The last time the Taliban ruled Afghanistan during the 1990s, they also restricted women from gaining an education, although there was a time when they said they would allow women to attend classes.
Kate Clark, co-director of the Afghanistan Analysts Network, was in Afghanistan the last time the Taliban ruled and revealed some troubling perspective:
Education and literacy are so strongly valued in Islam that the Taliban could not ban girls schools on Islamic grounds. So they always said they would open them when security improved. It never did. They never opened the schools.
There was always the fear that they could be closed in a moment. Or that teachers would be beaten or detained. This happened. Teaching girls was risky, a brave act of resistance, but not impossible.
Afghanistan is currently very close to economic collapse and this latest development could force a strong reaction from the international community.
More to follow.
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