A number of parents and students in Afghanistan are calling on the Taliban to reopen secondary schools for girls, which have been closed for the past 544 days, reported Kabul based Khaama Press. On Saturday, the concerned parents expressed their worries about their daughters' futures and urged the authorities to permit them to resume their studies.
The families of these students stated that the prolonged closure of schools had adversely affected their children, with some developing psychiatric disorders. The parents have therefore requested that schools beyond the sixth grade be reopened on March 21, which marks the start of the new academic year.
Following the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan, education beyond the sixth grade has been suspended, and in December of last year, girls and women were also prohibited from attending universities and working with NGOs.
Despite the interim administration's claim that the ban on girls' education was temporary and that it would be allowed once the environment was deemed appropriate, more than a year and a half has elapsed since then, and the situation remains unchanged. The conditions for girls to attend universities and schools are still not considered suitable.
On September 18 in 2022, high schools in Afghanistan opened their doors to boys, while the Taliban ordered girls to remain at home. The Taliban has also placed severe restrictions on women's and girls' freedom of expression, association, assembly, and movement, imposing draconian measures.
The Taliban's ban on female students above the sixth grade from attending school has been heavily criticised both nationally and internationally. Furthermore, since taking over Kabul in August of last year, the Taliban regime has significantly curtailed women's rights and freedoms. Due to the economic crisis and restrictions, women are largely excluded from the workforce.
According to TOLOnews, the Taliban recently prohibited female students from participating in the upcoming university entrance exams, which are scheduled to take place next month.
The Taliban's Ministry of Higher Education has issued a notice to universities stating that girls are not allowed to apply for the exams until further notice. The notice indicates that girls have been banned from registering for the 1402 (solar year) university entrance exam.
The recent actions taken by the Taliban in Afghanistan have contributed to a worsening human rights crisis for women and girls in the country. They are being denied fundamental rights such as non-discrimination, education, work, public participation, and health. The situation is alarming and requires urgent attention from the international community to address and protect the rights of Afghan women and girls.
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