Taliban reiterate promise to reopen girls’ schools in Afghanistan

Kabul, Oct 19 (EFE).- The Taliban government has reiterated its promise to reopen secondary schools for girls, closed for more than a year for allegedly not being compliant with the Sharia or Islamic law.

The new education minister, conservative scholar Habibullah Agha, said this week during a tour of the central province of Bamiyan that high school girl students will be able to return to the classrooms as soon as they implement “a special mechanism.”

“We will not plan it (the reopening) without any mechanism as in the previous government the boys and the girls were together. The Islamic System does not allow it,” the minister said during an address in Bamiyan on Tuesday.

The provincial culture and information director, Saifuddin Mohammadi, confirmed to EFE Wednesday the promises made by the education minister, giving “hopes to students that (secondary) schools will reopen soon, once the problems in the sector are addressed.”

However, the students in the province view these assurances as mere “excuses,” given that they have been giving similar statements since coming to power in August 2021, while in reality there has always been segregation in the classroom based on gender.

“They are just excuses” as it would have been decided over the past year if they really worried about female education, Nazo Kharoti, a girl student, told EFE.

She further clarified that during the period before the Taliban there were no mixed classes with boys and girls intermingling freely.

“Nor did we (girls and boys) study together under the previous government, we did it in different schools and, if the school was the same, at different times,” said the young woman.

Since coming to power more than a year ago, the Taliban have imposed successive restrictions on women, representing a situation of deteriorating rights, such as segregation by sex in public places, the imposition of burka or full body covering, and having a male relative accompany them on long journeys.

Despite promising change, the Taliban have repeated the behavior of their previous regime between 1996 and 2001.

During that time, based on a rigid interpretation of Islam and its strict social code known as Pashtunwali, the Taliban had banned women from all public life, including schools, and confined them to their homes. EFE


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