Afghan girls urge Taliban to reopen high-schools almost a year after closure

Kabul, Aug 3 (EFE).- Afghan students and teachers on Wednesday protested in Kabul urging the Taliban to reopen the secondary schools for girls, almost a year after they were shut down following the Islamists’ ascent to power.

“We want the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to facilitate education access to all girls and boys of the country and reopen the schools,” the coordinator of the gathering, Khatira, told local broadcaster Tolo.

One of the participants, Sadia, said that the regime’s decision to shut down the educational centers for Afghan girls went against Shariah, or Islamic law.

Sajida, aged 11, who did not take part in Wednesday’s protest but has been affected by the Taliban ban on girls’ education, told EFE that she did not have high hopes of schools opening their doors for her once again.

“I don’t think the Taliban would reopen our schools despite their agreement to (United States of) America and a lot of promises to the people of Afghanistan,” said the young student.

The Taliban regaining power on Aug. 15 last year has resulted in a major reversal of women’s rights in Afghanistan, as the Islamists have imposed a number of curbs on them, including making burka (Islamic veil) mandatory, closing down high schools for girls and limiting women’s access to workplaces.

The government had promised to reopen schools for girls aged between 12 and 18 after “adapting” them to Islamic law, but they have failed to act in this regard for almost a year.

The school ban and other measures limiting women’s rights have been widely criticized by the international community and human rights groups.

“This suffocating crackdown against Afghanistan’s female population is increasing day-by-day. The international community must urgently demand that the Taliban respect and protect the rights of women and girls,” Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s secretary general, said in a statement last week. EFE


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