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  • Samikaa Bansal

Broken Promises: Taliban’s U-Turn on Women’s Education

"I don't think I have a future," said Roya, who was set to graduate from high school this year and was studying for the university entrance exam. "I'd always wanted to be a lawyer and had been studying to enter law school," she explained.


By forcing secondary schools, which comprise grades seven and above, to reopen solely for boys, the Taliban have virtually prevented girls from acquiring education beyond elementary school. Only a few secondary schools have reopened in certain districts, despite Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid's declaration on September 21 that the Ministry of Teaching was preparing for "the education of high school girls as soon as feasible." Millions of girls are naturally concerned about their education due to the prohibition in much of the nation and an ambiguous Taliban policy.


In fact, an estimated 3.7 million children are currently out of school, 60% of them being girls. Apart from the Taliban’s unruly terms, certain socio-cultural factors and traditional beliefs also undermine girls' education. For example, 17% of girls are married before their fifteenth birthday. In other words, the sociopolitical and humanitarian crises that Afghanistan is facing due to the Taliban are critically affecting their already fragile education system.


Closing girls' schools is not only unethical, but is also foolish in view of the impending international donor conference for Afghanistan. "Most donors would see this as a betrayal of past pledges," says Cordaid's Paul van den Berg, a political analyst. He urges Afghan officials to follow through on prior promises to open high schools for Afghan girls.


The Afghan government, with its international donors, should increase girls’ access to education by protecting schools and students.

Also taking concrete steps to meet the government’s international obligation to provide universal free and compulsory primary education


According to a 2019 study by the Asia Foundation, a global development organisation, support for girls' education remains strong in Afghanistan, with 87% in favour. However, we will have to accept the truth that, while the religious movement has maintained its vow to allow women to study, experts claim that the militants' core worldview has not changed, making it doubtful that women would be able to pursue jobs and participate in public life.


"We call on the Taliban urgently to reverse this decision, which will have consequences far beyond its harm to Afghan girls. Unreversed, it will profoundly harm Afghanistan`s prospects for social cohesion and economic growth, its ambition to become a respected member in the community of nations, and the willingness of Afghans to return from overseas," said the United States and its allies. To conclude we can say that:


A girl’s education is not only a moral imperative but an economic necessity!



Bibliography:

  1. Thomson Reuters Foundation. “How Will Taliban Rule Impact Girls’ Education in Afghanistan?” News.Trust.Org. n.d. Web. 25 Mar, 2022. <news.trust.org/item/20210831110425-cvykj.>

Team, Wion Web. “Every Afghan Girl Has Right to Education: US, Allies Slam Taliban Ban on Girls Education.” WION. n.d. Web. 25 Mar, 2022. <www.wionews.com/south-asia/every-afghan-girl-has-right-to-education-us-allies-slam-taliban-ban-on-girls-education-465293.>


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