Taliban criticized over delay in opening girls’ schools

Kabul, Sep 18 (EFE).- The Taliban’s decision to delay the reopening of secondary schools for girls while allowing boys’ schools to open their doors again Saturday has raised concerns and sparked criticism from female students, their families and activists who accuse the group of trying to restrict women’s rights.

The Taliban on Friday announced that boys’ secondary and high schools could reopen after a month of closure since the Islamist group’s lightning takeover of Afghanistan.

They added that they were working to prepare a suitable environment for female students.

During the Taliban’s previous rule of Afghanistan, between 1996-2001, the group used the same pretext to keep girls’ schools closed for five years despite there being no official ban.

It has led to accusations that the Taliban are trying to deprive girls of education once again.

 “Last night I did not sleep, the whole night I was thinking of my daughters,” Sakina 38, whose two daughters are in secondary school, told Efe.

“They have been at home for over a month and were eagerly waiting for their schools to reopen. But the government allowed only boys to resume their classes.”

Her daughters Hasina, 16, and Adila, 14, were in tears when they heard about the delay in reopening of their schools.

“We are a poor family, we spent lots of money on our daughters for their schools, but now we are not sure whether they will be able to rejoin their classes or not,” Sakina said.

Marghalara Khara, director of social affairs at the now-dissolved Ministry of Women Affairs told Efe: “We don’t know what the Taliban are doing and what their plan is, but we ask them to remain committed to their promises of women rights.”

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