Boys will be allowed to return to secondary schools in Afghanistan from tomorrow. This was announced by the Taliban regime in a statement. But the new Minister of Education does not mention the girls.
After the Taliban seized power in the capital, Kabul, more than a month ago, most educational institutions remained closed. The Taliban are struggling to reopen the economy and restore normalcy.
In some primary schools and universities that remained open, girls and female students were allowed to attend classes. But girls’ secondary schools remained closed.
Under the strict policies of the previous government until 2001, women were hardly allowed to participate in public life and girls’ education was strictly prohibited. Taliban officials have now promised that girls will be able to attend mainstream education, provided they are in separate classrooms from boys. Unlike in the past, separate education for veiled women is the norm in universities.
According to the Taliban, not many activities for women and girls were possible yet due to the security situation. In the last statement, about reopening schools, girls were not mentioned at all.
In the statement, the education minister only wrote that from Saturday, all state primary and secondary schools and official religious schools will be open again. “All teachers and students must go to school.”
More than a month after Islamic fundamentalists took power, it has become increasingly clear what kind of society they have in mind. The Taliban want women to stay at home so they can be separated from men in the workplace.
It now appears that the Ministry of Women’s Affairs has been closed down to be replaced by the Ministry that applied the strict rules on women in the previous era. At that time they were only allowed to leave their home under supervision.
There are no women in the new Taliban government. Over the past twenty years, they have implemented basic rights in Afghanistan. Some have even reached out to a Member of Parliament, a judge, a pilot, or a proxy. It remains to be seen what that will look like under the new system.
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