There Is No Justification for Closing Afghan Girls’ Schools

According to the Taliban Ministry of Education, public and private schools were opened to male students on Saturday (September 18). The status of the female students, however, is still unknown and they are in a precarious situation. The Taliban have virtually stopped female students from attending schools. This have provoked national and international reactions. Some citizens protested against the Taliban’s decision by launching a hashtag entitled “I will not go to school without my sister” and “For what crime will we be prevented from continuing my education?”

Afghan civilians have requested the Taliban not to prevent girls from going to school. At the same time, international organizations have been shocked by the Taliban’s decision, calling it a clear violation of children’s rights. The Taliban deny the allegations, saying they are not preventing girls from attending schools. According to them, the Ministry of Education is working on how to let girls attend schools. Once it is finalized, according to them, girls will be allowed to educate.

After the fall of the previous government, the country’s education institutions ceased functioning. Although universities reopened, schools have not. The Taliban’s actions have provoked criticism inside and outside the country. Afghan civilians have expressed their opposition to the Taliban’s decision by launching hashtags on social media and protesting on the streets.

“Undoubtedly, women and girls are the most non-partisan section of society, and they are the only ones who think of a human society apart from ethnicity, nationality and religion,” said Hussein Varasi, a Facebook user. “Therefore, it is better not to take the opportunity of education from them.” He expressed hopes that the Taliban’s Minister of Education would not differentiate between girls and boys and that they would provide education for girls as soon as possible.

Zarif Mohammadi has also criticized that the nation has fallen into the hands of those who are not willing to free themselves from the shackles of “anti-human, anti-feminist and anti-knowledge order” of the tribe. According to Mohammadi, in the current era, the majority of the population do not wish to be trapped in a “wild culture”. “Imposing tribal culture may be responsive in the short term, but never in the long run,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “It will not be long before our human aspirations overcome the horrors of tribal culture.”

Atefa Rokhsar also criticized the closure of girls’ schools, saying that women are half of society and that their literacy will impact on Afghanistan’s next generation. According to her, the Taliban should not differentiate between boys and girls, and according to verses from the Qur’an and hadiths, learning knowledge is presumed for every Muslim man and woman. He called on the Taliban Ministry of Education officials to provide education for girls.

Some experts have also expressed concern about the closure of girls’ schools. Mohammad Amin Ahmadi, a prominent scholar, said that the Taliban oppressed girls and women in the country in the form of obstruction of work, segregation of the educational environment based on gender, and blocking the gates of schools for girls from the sixth grade onwards. Is a clear example of gender discrimination. He added that from a legal point of view, this move is considered severely harmful against individuals. According to him, it is painful for human beings to see how they are deprived of any progress by other people who have taken control of their destiny with weapons. The professor described the current situation as painful for families who think of their daughter’s happiness, growth, and self-reliance.

On the other hand, Mr. Ahmadi pointed out that the imposition of these restrictions by the Taliban, in addition to civil liability, is likely to impose criminal liability on them under the country’s applicable laws. “The right to equal access to education is an internationally accepted principle,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “Lawyers can consider whether victims can file a lawsuit against the head of the Taliban Ministry of Education in a free country trial.”

Meanwhile, Save the Children has said it was shocked by reports indicating that girls could not return to school in Afghanistan, calling it a shocking violation of the rights of girls in Afghanistan. Olivier Franchi, director of regional operations for the Rescue of Children in Asia, said on Saturday, that if girls were not allowed to return to school, it would be a shocking violation of their rights. According to him, all children, regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, and economic background, have an equal right to education.

The Taliban, however, denies preventing girls from education. Bilal Karimi, a Taliban spokesman, told 8 Subh on Sunday, September 19, that the relevant authorities were working on the issue.