- The new school year begins next week in Afghanistan. Girls must also be able to attend secondary school.
- A spokesman for the Ministry of Education in Kabul, Asis Ahmad Rajan, told Reuters that all schools will also open for girls.
- After the Taliban took power last August, the international community has repeatedly called on girls and women in Afghanistan to get an education.
Afghanistan’s extremist Islamist Taliban movement, which has been struggling for international recognition, will also allow girls to attend secondary school next week at the start of the new school year. Spokesperson Asis Ahmed Rajan emphasized that however, only girls should be taught separately from boys and only by female teachers. In rural areas where there are few faculty members, older teachers can, exceptionally, take over the education of girls.
Girls and women’s access to education is one of the main demands of the international community for the Taliban, who took over the government last August after years of fighting. Most countries do not recognize the new rulers and justify this, among other things, by the position of women in a fundamentalist Islamic society.
In their first reign from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban in Afghanistan excluded women from education and almost all professions. The Taliban wants to rule the country again according to its interpretation of Islamic law. At the same time, they depend on billions of dollars in aid from the West to combat widespread poverty and hunger. The assistance largely stopped last year.
Women in Afghanistan have reported in recent months that they are often denied participation in public life. In many cases, those affected have had to give up their jobs. Women’s rights officer Heather Barr at Human Rights Watch cautions that reopening schools for girls is not necessarily a sign of respect for women’s rights.
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