Conflicts & War

Afghans protest against against closure of girls’ schools

Kabul, Mar 26 (EFE).- Dozens of students, parents and teachers on Saturday protested near the Afghan education ministry against the Taliban’s decision to not open high schools for girls despite promising to allow them earlier.

“Justice for Afghan girls,” and “We Want Work” were some of the slogans chanted by the Kabul residents who had gathered to protest the fundamentalist regime’s decision.

Zulia Parsi, a member of the Afghanistan Spontaneous Women’s Movement and one of the organizers, told EFE that they were protesting with the demand that the secondary and high schools for girls be reopened.

Despite the Taliban’s blanket ban on protests against its regime, the group has in the past held several demonstrations behind closed doors and organized other events to oppose the curbs on women’s rights in Afghanistan.

“The protest was planned to be held in front of the ministry of education, but the Taliban government did not grant permission and threatened us against reaching there,” another protester Laila Baseem, an activist, told EFE.

Despite this, the protesters managed to reach close to the building, three days after the Islamists blocked the young girls from returning to the classroom after seven months of closure since the group seized power in August.

At the time, Taliban government said that they had shut the schools for senior girls temporarily to “adapt” their education to Islamic or Sharia law, while the primary school had remained open for all.

A week ago the government announced that all girls would be allowed to return to schools in the country on Mar. 23, after the winter break.

However, the subsequent sudden decision to keep them shut has disappointed students and teachers, apart from being criticized by the international community.

The United Nations expressed surprise at the decision and said the continued closure “violates the human rights of women and girls.”

The international community has closely followed the first months of the Taliban government, in the hope that the rulers would distance themselves from the hardline of their previous Islamist regime from 1996 to 2001.

The then Taliban rulers had banned girls from schools, and the women remained confined to their homes. EFE

lk-daa/ia

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