Afghan Girls In Paktia Protest Against The Closing Of Their Schools

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Dozens of young women demonstrated against the Taliban authorities for closing their secondary schools just a few days after courses had begun.

Classes resumed the week before last at five government secondary schools in the eastern province of Paktia. This comes after hundreds of girls and tribal elders called for the schools to reopen.

However, according to a women’s rights activist and inhabitants of the city of Gardez, when students attended to their courses on Saturday, they were advised to go back home instead.

The girls demonstrated against the decision to close the school while wearing their school uniforms, which consisted of a black shalwar kameez and a white hijab. They marched through the center of Gardez.

Since they retook power in August of last year, the Taliban have enforced stringent restrictions on girls and women in order to bring them into line with their puritanical interpretation of Islam. These limitations have essentially forced women and girls out of public life.

On Saturday, the girls marched through the city center as residents and shop owners observed from nearby streets.

Officials insist that the restriction is nothing more than a “technical issue,” and they promise that lessons will resume as soon as a curriculum that is based on Islamic regulations is created.

As a result of the pressure exerted by community members and families, there are still some public schools open around the nation.

However, they are still closed in the majority of the provinces, including the capital city of Kabul as well as Kandahar, which is the de facto capital of the Taliban. According to UNICEF, there are around three million young women in Afghanistan who are unable to access secondary school due to cultural norms.