As Afghanistan faces an uncertain future under Taliban rule, the extremist group has taken yet another step to restrict female education in the country. Local Taliban officials have reportedly issued a ban on girls over 10 years of age attending primary school classes in certain provinces, sparking global concern over the future prospects of young girls.
According to a report by BBC Persian, officials from the Taliban-ruled Ministry of Education informed school principals and short-term training centers in Ghazni province that girls above 10 years of age would no longer be allowed to study in primary schools. This latest restriction poses a severe setback for girls’ education and their ability to access fundamental learning opportunities.
A student in the sixth grade, who was permitted education by the Taliban last year, revealed that girls over the age of 10 were now prohibited from entering the school premises. In some provinces, the “Ministry for Preaching and Guidance,” a local Taliban authority, reportedly segregated girls based on their age, leading to directives that principals of girls’ schools must send female students above the third grade back home.
The Taliban’s history of suppressing women’s education is well-documented. Following the withdrawal of the US and NATO-led forces in September 2021, the group promptly banned girls from secondary education and restricted high schools to male students only. In a further blow to women’s rights, the regime prohibited college and university education for women last December, effectively denying thousands of young females access to higher learning.
Last month, the United Nations (UN) openly criticized the Taliban for escalating restrictions on women and girls in Afghanistan, with a specific focus on education and employment. The extremist regime has persistently marginalized women, denying them opportunities for public life and work. This includes banning girls from attending school beyond the sixth grade and barring Afghan women from employment in local and non-governmental organizations. Furthermore, the Taliban extended its ban to employees of the United Nations in April, exacerbating the exclusion of women from vital professional roles.
As the Taliban continues to curtail women’s rights and access to education, the international community expresses deep concern for the future of Afghanistan’s young girls. The denial of basic education and opportunities for personal development perpetuates a cycle of gender inequality and limits the nation’s potential for progress and prosperity. Efforts to advocate for women’s rights and empowerment must remain steadfast as the world closely observes the unfolding situation in Afghanistan.
Sources By Agencies