Afghanistan: Taliban exclude girls as Afghan secondary schools reopen

Taliban had promised to take care of the needs of women in Afghanistan and said they would safeguard women’s rights. In contrary to their statement, the Taliban have banned girls to return to secondary schools and excluding them from studies, Taliban put a ban on their higher education. Only boys and male teachers were allowed back into classrooms.

The Taliban officials who seized power last month said they were working to reach a decision on the matter. “All male teachers and students should attend their educational institutions,” a statement from Education Ministry said ahead of classes resuming on September 18. There was no mention of girl students or women teachers in the ministry’s announcement.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid was later commented that that girls’ schools would open soon. He said officials were currently working on the “procedure” for this, and details including the division of teachers, reported by BBC.

Suggestions were also being raised saying that new rules would exclude women from education because the universities do not have the resources to provide separate classes.

The secondary schools, with students between the ages of 13 and 18, are often segregated by sex in Afghanistan. Also,due to the Covid pandemic, the classes were suspended and have been shut since the Taliban seized power. Although the new government allowed women to go to private universities, tougher and stringent restrictions were imposed on their clothes and in their movement as well.

Meanwhile, Since the Taliban were removed from power in 2001. There was seen progress in improving Afghanistan’s education enrolments and literacy rates – especially for girls and women. As a result, the number of girls in primary schools increased from almost zero to 2.5 million. Along with this, the literacy rate of females also doubled to 30%. However, many of the gains have been made in cities.