Read More Atheist Republic The Taliban backtracked on its announcement of opening schools to girls. Anger and frustration swept Afghanistan after the education ministry suddenly announced that female students are not allowed back in school, indefinitely.
‘Mother, they didn’t let me go to school today. They said girls aren’t allowed to go to school’Afghanistan is the only country in the world where girls are banned from going to school. pic.twitter.com/iWefKa4H1r
— Shabnam Nasimi (@NasimiShabnam) March 23, 2022
The unexpected announcement came a week after the Taliban announced that female students will be allowed back to school.
On Thursday, March 17, the Taliban announced that they would allow female high school students back to school. Aziz Ahmad Rayan, a spokesman for the Taliban’s Ministry of Education, said they are opening schools “to all boys and girls.”
“But there are some conditions for girls,” Rayan added. The spokesman explained that female students will be assigned in a separate classroom and only be taught by female teachers.
The announcement comes after weeks of uncertainty, with the world watching closely if the conservative Islamist government will keep its promise of respecting women’s rights after taking back Kabul in August last year.
In September 2021, a month after taking control of Afghanistan, the Taliban announced that they would reopen colleges and universities as gender-segregated institutions.
In February this year, they announced that four universities would allow female students across different provinces in Afghanistan.
Rayan added that schools would not close for this year. “If there is any school that closes, it is the responsibility of the education ministry to open it,” he said.
Despite its best efforts to have its Islamic Emirate recognized as a legitimate government, most countries, especially western nations, are reluctant. The United Nations landed a bitter blow to the regime’s efforts by denying the Taliban’s request to send its envoy to the general assemblies.
Allegations of human rights abuse and their treatment of women are the two main reasons countries are poised to ignore the Taliban’s claim for legitimacy. When the Taliban controlled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, they banned female education and employment.
Amnesty International accused the regime of “wasting no time in stamping out human rights” after taking over. According to Amnesty International, the reports are contrary to what the Taliban’s leadership is trying to portray.
Heather Barr, Associate Director of the Women’s Rights Division of the Human Rights Watch, asked the international community to be vigilant despite the Taliban’s latest announcements. She explained that the reopening of the schools does not guarantee that the broader rights of women and girls are being upheld.
She also encourages international organizations and governments to send female delegates when negotiating with the Taliban. Barr described diplomatic negotiations with the Taliban with all-male representatives as “inherently suspect.”
However, the recent announcement reversed what was hopeful news last week. An education ministry notice informed that “all girls’ high schools and those schools that [have] female students above class six that they are off until the next order.”https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-60845540
The education ministry explained that schools would reopen after a decision regarding female school uniforms is made based on “Sharia law and Afghan tradition.”
The abrupt withdrawal of the Taliban’s decision caused deep anger and resentment from parents and students.
A video posted on Twitter showed a girl crying after being sent home. “Mother, they didn’t let me go to school today. They said girls aren’t allowed to go to school,” the girl said while sobbing.