It’s been more than a year since the Taliban retook control of Afghanistan. In the last year, the country has seen many regressive changes, including banning education rights for women. As this predictable disaster takes over Afghanistan, the global community, including the UN has criticised the Taliban’s move.
Recently the acting head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Markus Potzel said that the ongoing exclusion of girls from high schools has no justification and condemned the anniversary as tragic, shameful, and entirely avoidable.
“The ongoing exclusion of girls from high school has no credible justification and has no parallel anywhere in the world," the UNAMA statement on the exclusion of the girls from school read, Khaama Press reported. The previous year, on September 18, the high schools in Afghanistan opened their gates to boys whereas girls were ordered to stay at home by the Taliban.
Taliban’s falls promise to provide women with education
Taliban took power in Afganisthan, in August 2021. At the time Taliban promised to institute a modern form of Islamic government that honored women’s rights.
After the Taliban seized control in August 2021, they declared that education for both boys and girls beyond the sixth grade would be discontinued; however, it would resume on March 23, 2022, the Afghan new year.
When scores of eager female students arrived at their school, instead of teachers they, were welcomed by Taliban guards. Soon it was made clear that the school gates were closed for the female students in the country. In the following days, Taliban leaders in a sudden announcement prohibit girls from going to high school. As of now, lakhs of female students are denied their basic right to education in the country.
Taliban Said Need to Create Female-Fit Curriculum
The Taliban said that more time was required for the school curriculum to be revised in order to better reflect Islamic principles, as well as for the creation of a female curriculum and female-specific school uniforms. In addition, the Taliban decreed that women could only be the instructors of women’s courses at colleges and universities. Additionally, it stated that co-educational university courses were possible but required a physical barrier separating the male and female students.
Further on September 17, 2021, the Taliban announced that schools would open as planned, but in the announcement, only schools for males were mentioned. It appeared that no decision had been made regarding women’s education. On September 17, 2021, the Taliban claimed that schools will open as scheduled, however, they only mentioned male-only institutions. There didn’t seem to be any decision regarding women’s education.
Even after several months, despite international pressure and the promised resources from the international community, on March 23, 2002, the Taliban leadership announced that girls’ schools would not open.
Afghanistan has two private universities in addition to 17 governmental ones. The majority of these universities and colleges admitted female students before the Taliban took power in 2021. The same is not the case anymore.
On the other hand, many women who were employed before the Taliban retook Afghanistan, also had to lose their jobs. When the Taliban took power one year ago this month, they sent home many women from government jobs. They weren’t allowed to share offices with men. Yet here’s Toba in a private workplace.