The Return Dark Days of Talibanism over Schoolgirls in Afghanistan
After two decades of democracy and education in Afghanistan, dark days of Talibanism, like the dark days of 2001, have cast a shadow over the people of Afghanistan and especially on the schoolgirls. Just eight months after the closure of girls ‘schools in Afghanistan, the Taliban announced that girls’ schools would reopen on Wednesday,March 3, 2022. But on Wednesday morning, the Taliban’s education official announced that girls’ secondary and high schools would remain closed until further notice and statements.A spokesman for the Taliban’s Ministry of publications told the media about the continuing closure of girls’ schools in Afghanistan whenever school uniforms are designed based on the components of Islamic law, Afghani customs, and culture. Then, according to the ruling of the Taliban leadership, the girl schools will reopen. Otherwise, this issue will not be possible.
An Unjust Proclamation that Smashed the Future of Thousands of Female Students
The Taliban’s unexpected, unjust, and inhumane decision to be closed girls’ schools for female students from the sixth grade up has come as a shock and surprise to many Afghan student families, women, and girls in Afghanistan.Therefore, many schoolgirls in Afghanistan happily went to school on Wednesday after eight months and a few days; but with an unjust declaration by the Taliban, all the girl students returned home Shattered and distressed. A 12th-grade student at a girls’ school in Kabul city told the media. “All the winter days ended with the joy that our schools will start after Nowruz Eid or New Year,” she said,“I went to school today happily and returned home crying. I and all the students I know were happy, and we went to school in the morning with great enthusiasm. But when we gathered in the schoolyard to hear the principal talk about our curriculum, the principal came and said that according to the Taliban order, seventh to twelfth-grade students should not come to the school until further notice and statements.”
This student told the media that all the students were shocked and upset to hear this news. Therefore, many students left school with tears and returned to their homes. But some questioned why the school had not reopened. In this case, they also protested that protesting today against the Taliban group ignorance is not an easy task and will have dire consequences for an Afghan citizen.Meanwhile, on March 3, a video is circulating on social media showing female students in front of a school in Kabul. In this video, female students weep and say angrily to the Taliban group: “Education is our right. Let us continue our education.”Therefore, on that dark day dominated by extremist Taliban extremism, numerous pictures and videos of female students were posted on social media in Afghanistan, showing female students returning home crying. So, this commemorating a black Talibanism day after two decades of democracy in 2022 will be recorded in history; history will not forget the dark days.
The Taliban Action Causes Girls’ Illiteracy in Afghanistan
One teacher of the girls’ school also wrote on her Facebook page that she went to school with hope and motivation and returned home with a world of sorrow and grief.”I was talking about hope and motivation in the classroom when a student told me, please tell us something soothing, she said, “I have distrusted everything under the rule and pressure of the Taliban group.” This inhumane act of the Taliban to prevent Afghan girls from going to school leaves the fate of thousands of girls in a state of ambiguity. Therefore, This is a false and deceptive slogan for the Afghanistan people and the international community.One of the Taliban’s rulings in 1997 was a ban on public education against women and girls across Afghanistan, which this rule became legal.
Nevertheless, it is clear that in Afghanistan, under the Taliban rule, girls are excluded from education due to discriminatory policies.However, girls and women in Afghanistan have been one of the illiterate classes. Lack of resources, lack of proper management, and continued Taliban-dominated gender discrimination and tyranny among the Afghan people are significant obstacles to girls’ education. This issue can make the challenges of illiteracy in Afghanistan societies, especially for girls, more critical and challenging than ever before.
The Taliban Hostage-Taking of Schoolgirls
But Afghan women are determined to educate their children and are working on launching hundreds of online schools and courses, both internally and externally, but I do not think that will be the right action on girls’ education in Afghanistan. We only maintain a formal training system in line with national and international standards.Therefore, it is hoped that the international community and human rights organizations put pressure on the Taliban to stop their misogynistic and inhumane acts against schoolgirls in Afghanistan so that girls can continue their education.This action of the Taliban has neither an Islamic nor a legal basis. This type of hostage-taking of female students for their economic and financial aspirations against international education organizations will be no more than that.So, the Taliban must stop taking girls hostage with enmity against science. This kind of hostage-taking is destructive in Afghanistan society.
The Suicide Epidemic Among Schoolgirls in Afghanistan
Suicide is not a new consequence of the Taliban’s tyranny against girls and women in Afghanistan, but in the previous Taliban era, it was the same situation against women and girls in Afghanistan.Afghan women and girls commit suicide out of frustration and relief from the problems and stress of the Taliban. According to Human Rights Watch surveys in 2009 and 2013, cases of suicide were most common among women and girls who suffered from horrific domestic violence and sexual abuse in the community, and then they burned themselves. Therefore, today, the Taliban’s ban on girls’ education is another form of violence in which many girls will be forced to commit suicide.Meanwhile, local Afghanistan media outlets reported that a young girl committed suicide after the closure of schools in Dasht-e Barchi west of Kabul, following the announcement of the ban on girls’ education by the Taliban in Afghanistan. She threw herself from the fourth floor of a commercial building and died.
Internally and Internationally Reactions Regarding the Suspension of Girls’ Education by the Taliban
Human Rights Watch: HRW also issued a statement disappointing the Taliban’s decision to ban girls ‘education just before the March 31 international donors’ conference to raise $ 4.4 billion in aid to Afghanistan. Human Rights Watch says donors hoped the Taliban would show their willingness to compromise with the international community by reopening girls ‘schools, but their decision to continue banning girls’ education proved that hopes were not too optimistic anymore. HRW emphasizes that Afghanistan desperately needs the education of girls and women for progress and that the Taliban must immediately reopen all-girls ‘high schools and colleges and end the violation of women and girls’ rights in Afghanistan. HRW continues to urge donor countries to continue their political pressure on the Taliban to end human and women’s rights abuses but to keep a balance between their political priorities and their assistance to people suffering from hunger, And the children who die of malnutrition in Afghanistan.
Antonio Guterres: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a statement expressing deep regret over the Taliban authorities ‘decision to suspend girls’ education, saying that the failure of the authorities to reopen schools for girls from the sixth grade upper, despite repeated commitments, was a profound disappointment. The UN Secretary-General added that deprivation of education violates the equal rights of women and girls in education and jeopardizes the future of the country concerning assistance from Afghan women and girls. He called on Taliban officials to open the gates of the schools to all students without delay.
UNICEF:Reacting to the suspension of girls’ education, UNICEF Executive Director Katherine Russell said that millions of girls across Afghanistan woke up today in the hope of being able to go to school and resume their education, but it was not long before their hopes were dashed. The decision of the Taliban authorities to delay the return of girls to school from grades 7 to 12 is a major setback for girls and their future. Mr. Russell said the decision deprives an entire generation of teenage girls of their right to education and the opportunity to acquire the skills needed to build their future. He called on Taliban officials to abide by their commitment to educating girls without delay.
Turkey: The Turkish Foreign Ministry has also expressed regret over the Taliban’s decision to continue closing girls’ schools. The ministry added that Afghanistan people expect all students, including girls, to continue their education.Regarding the Taliban’s decision to continue closing girls ‘schools, the Turkish Foreign Ministry stressed that this country would stand with the Afghanistan people in these difficult times and defend their girls’ education demands.
Qatar: The Qatar Foreign Ministry has also reacted by stating regarding banning the Taliban on girls educating, saying the Qatar government is expressing “Severe Concern and Despair” over the issue. The ministry emphasizes that Qatar, as a Muslim country, calls on the Taliban government to reconsider its decision in line with Islamic teachings, especially on women’s rights.
Hamid Karzai: Former Afghanistan President has also lamented the closure of girls’ high schools. The former president has asked the Taliban to allow girls to train in Afghanistan. He stressed that the Taliban should reopen girls’ schools immediately.
Nahid Farid: Nahid Farid, a former member of the Afghanistan parliament, also said that the Taliban even committed suicide in front of the girls’ schools, and now the Taliban leadership fears that they will lose the trust of their forces by reopening schools to all girls. They will not implement this decision.
Rangin Dadfar Spanta: Spanta, Afghanistan’s former national security adviser, tweeted, “Closing school gates against girls is a true reflection of the Talibanism thoughts. That’s what the Taliban are. Only simple-minded people and those who, for ideological and racial reasons, cannot save themselves from this reactionary circle can expect the Taliban to provide equal education and rights for Afghanistan girls.