Taliban says Afghan girls will return to secondary schools soon
Spokesman for interior ministry tells Al Jazeera that all schools and universities in Afghanistan will reopen ‘in a very short time’.
Since taking power, the Taliban has only allowed girls of primary age to attend school [File: Bulent Kilic/AFP]
18 Oct 2021
Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior Affairs has said girls will be allowed to return to secondary schools soon.
Saeed Khosty, a spokesman for the interior ministry, told Al Jazeera on Sunday that the exact timing will be announced by the Ministry of Education.
“From my understanding and information, in a very short time all the universities and schools will be reopened and all the girls and women will return to school and their teaching jobs,” he said.
Following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, teenage girls were told to stay home from school until a “safe learning environment” could be established. But boys in all grades and girls of primary age were told to return to school.
The exclusion of older girls has aggravated fears that the Taliban could be returning to their hardline rule of the 1990s, when women and girls were legally barred from education and employment.
Khosti “indicated that it was imminent that girls in secondary schools and their female teachers would be returning very soon,” said Al Jazeera’s Stefanie Dekker, reporting from Kabul.
“This is something that we’ve been hearing from the Taliban since they took power. Yes, they’re going to return. But it’s going to take time. And of course, that’s taking a toll on a lot of the girls,” she said.
“They want to go back to school, they want to continue their studies. This is also one of the demands of the international community for the Taliban to protect and safeguard the rights of girls and women to go to school and to work.”
When the Taliban took power in August, the armed group promised to uphold the rights of girls and women. But its actions since have worried the international community.
It has sent mixed signals about women returning to work in government offices and has forced universities to enact policies of gender segregation in order to reopen.
It also named an all-male cabinet, saying women could be included later.
Antonio Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations, earlier this month condemned the Taliban’s “broken” promises to Afghan women and girls, and appealed to the group to fulfil their obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law.
“Broken promises leads to broken dreams for the women and girls of Afghanistan,” the UN chief said. “Women and girls need to be in the centre of attention.”
The Taliban’s rollback of women’s rights has also prompted criticism from Qatar and Pakistan, which have called on the international community to engage with the Taliban.
At a news conference last month, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, said it “has been very disappointing to see some steps being taken backwards” by the Taliban.
Al Thani said Qatar, which hosts the Taliban’s political office, should be used as a model for how a Muslim society can be run. “Our system is an Islamic system [but] we have women outnumbering men in workforces, in government and in higher education.”
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan meanwhile said that although he doubted the Taliban would once again place an outright ban on girls’ education, the group should be reminded that Islam would never allow such a thing to happen again.
“The idea that women should not be educated is just not Islamic. It has nothing to do with religion,” Khan told the BBC media outlet.
Ban? No ban? Afghan crick­et chief of­fers hope to women ath­letes
Al Jazeera speaks to Afghanistan’s crick­et chief on the fu­ture of fe­male ath­letes in the coun­try af­ter Tal­iban takeover.
13 Oct 2021
US of­fers to pay fam­i­lies of Afghans killed in drone at­tack
Wash­ing­ton also pledges to help fam­i­ly mem­bers who were in­ter­est­ed to re­lo­cate to the US fol­low­ing botched op­er­a­tion.
16 Oct 2021
Afghan foot­ballers and their fam­i­lies flown to Qatar
Qatar, in co­or­di­na­tion with FIFA, evac­u­ates al­most 100 Afghan foot­ball play­ers and their fam­i­lies from Afghanistan.
15 Oct 2021
Dead­ly ex­plo­sion hits Shia mosque in Afghanistan’s Kan­da­har
ISIS-K claims re­spon­si­bil­i­ty for at­tack that killed at least 47 peo­ple in­side a mosque in south­ern city on Fri­day.
15 Oct 2021
Burkina Faso army warns ex-officials in talks over transition
Saudi-led coalition announces probe into Yemen prison attack
Ukraine faces enormous military odds against Russia
Brent oil hits $91 a barrel as Ukraine worries persist
Soldier opens fire, kills five guards at Ukraine military plant
A simple guide to the Ukraine-Russia crisis: 5 things to know
Ukraine backs US response to Russia’s security demands
Russians hope for peace as the world talks of war
Follow Al Jazeera English:
© 2022 Al Jazeera Media Network
You rely on Al Jazeera for truth and transparency
We understand that your online privacy is very important and consenting to our collection of some personal information takes great trust. We ask for this consent because it allows Al Jazeera to provide an experience that truly gives a voice to the voiceless. You have the option to decline the cookies we automatically place on your browser but allowing Al Jazeera and our trusted partners to use cookies or similar technologies helps us improve our content and offerings to you. You can change your privacy preferences at any time by selecting ‘Cookie preferences’ at the bottom of your screen.To learn more, please view our Cookie Policy.