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'Women Make Up Half the Society': In Show of Solidarity, Afghan Boys Refrain From Going to School

The Taliban administration has not officially announced its plan for female university students. (Representational image from Reuters)

The Taliban administration has not officially announced its plan for female university students. (Representational image from Reuters)

The Taliban education ministry on Friday ordered the reopening of boys' secondary schools while the reopening of girl's schools was still shrouded in mystery.

Since Afghanistan’s take over by the Taliban and its imposition of a myriad of restrictions on women, some Afghan boys have refrained from going to school in solidarity with the girls of the country who have not yet been called back to school.

As boys made their way to the classrooms, some boys stayed back home asserting that women make up half the society and they will not show up at school until schools for girls are open too, reported the Wall Street Journal.

“Women make up half the society… I will not show up at school until girls’ schools are open too,” Rohullah, an 18-year-old student of Class 12, was quoted as saying by WSJ.

The Taliban education ministry on Friday ordered the reopening of boys’ secondary schools while the reopening of girl’s schools was still shrouded in mystery. “All male teachers and students should attend their educational institutions,” a statement, issued late Friday, stated.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid told the local Bakhtar News Agency on Saturday that arrangements were being made to reopen girls’ secondary schools but he gave no date.

Talking to Reuters, a teacher at a private school in Kabul informed of a host of changes that were made before reopening the schools. “Girls study in the morning and boys in the afternoon. Male teachers teach boys and female teachers teach girls,” said the teacher. Some teachers said that girls who are low in spirits are still contemplating if they want to resume school.

“The education of girls is fixing a generation. The education of boys may affect a family but the education of girls affects society,” said the school’s principal, Mohammadreza. “We are very closely following the matter so that girls can resume their education and complete their studies.”

Meanwhile, the UN expressed that it is ‘deeply worried’ for the future of girls’ schooling in Afghanistan. “It is critical that all girls, including older girls, are able to resume their education without any further delays. For that, we need female teachers to resume teaching,” Unicef said.

Though, the Taliban have said they will not enforce the fundamentalist policies like their last rule, the future of women’s rights and freedom in Afghanistan still remains questionable.

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first published:September 19, 2021, 13:30 IST