September 18, 2021 – 10:10
The girls have not been allowed to return to high schools in Afghanistan, as Taliban leaders in the country have decided that only boys and male teachers should return to classes, reports the AFP news agency.
The hardline Islamic group ousted the Western-backed government last month, pledging a softer tone than in the 1990s, when women were banned from education and work.
But an order from the Ministry of Education was the latest action by the Taliban government, which poses a threat to women’s rights.
“All male teachers and students should participate in educational institutions,” the statement said, before classes begin on Saturday.
The statement issued late Friday did not mention teachers.
High schools, with students aged 13 to 18, are usually divided on a gender basis in Afghanistan.
During the coronavirus pandemic, they have been shut down continuously, but the biggest shutdown has been observed since the Taliban came to power.
Since the US intervention in Afghanistan in 2001, significant progress has been reported in girls’ education.
Now that the US mission is over and the Taliban are back in power, the United Nations has said it is “deeply concerned” about the future of girls’ education.
Primary schools have already opened with separate classes for boys and girls.
In some schools, female teachers have also returned to work.
The new regime has banned women from going to private universities, and has imposed a new rule on dress and movement. / REL