The Taliban has made a U-turn on the decision to allow girls schools to reopen in Afghanistan as decisions are still to be made concerning the students’ uniform.
The Afghan Ministry of Education said last week that classes would open for all students, including girls – however, today, Wednesday March 23, the militant group reversed this order in a statement.
Taliban back in Afghanistan
Between 1996 and 2001 the Taliban had control over the country. Under their rule, beginning in Kabul in 1996, girls weren’t allowed to get an education, and female teachers were ordered to stay at home.
Following the September 11 terrorist attacks in America, Britain deployed to Afghanistan with the US and other allies to destroy al-Qaeda, and the Taliban that had backed them. After the invasion the Taliban lost their control over the country.
However, when US and NATO troops fully withdrew from Afghanistan, in August 2021, the militant group seized power of the country once more.
Education for all?
Following the Taliban’s seize of power in August last year a demand was made by the international community that they would grant women and girls the right to education before being able to access to foreign aid.
The Taliban then announced in September 2021 Afghan universities would be segregated by gender, and a new dress code will be introduced. But women and girls would have access to education.
Last week the Taliban said schools would reopen this week for all, including girls – however, the The Afghan Ministry of Education has released a notice this morning stating
‘We inform all girls’ high schools and those schools that [have] female students above class six that they are off until the next order,’ the notice said.
The notice also said schools would be able to reopen once a decision was made about uniforms being in accordance to “Sharia law and Afghan tradition”.
Devastation for Girls in Afghanistan
Naturally, many girls and women are devastated by this U-turn as TOLO news – the Afghan 24-hour news service showed girls crying over the decision to block their return to school.