Despite protests, doors to education for Afghan girls remain closed
Dozens of Afghans are demonstrating today against the ban on women going to university. In March, secondary education in Afghanistan was already prohibited for girls. Large demonstrations have become rare under the Taliban regime. Protests against those in power are often violently interrupted.
The ban immediately sparked unrest and protests at various universities yesterday, said journalist Ali Latifi from Kabul. Also men. “Male students have even dropped out of college and refused to take their exams or attend classes in protest at this new measure.”
Zahra, 21, who has been studying photography at Kabul University for years, is almost done with her studies. She was due to graduate next spring. The morning after the decision to close women’s universities, she tried to go anyway. “But the Taliban blocked the road. There were more than a hundred of them and stood in front of the university gate. I was in shock, my classmates were crying.”
To cry out
Teachers are also expressing their displeasure and calling the ban unfair and immoral. Dean says (last name known to publisher) teaches at a private university in Kabul. He thought his female students would still be allowed to finish their final exams, but that was impossible.
“We were distributing exam papers in the classroom when the Taliban came in. They told us to stop immediately. The students started shouting that they wanted to take their exams. sent them away immediately, to be careful and take care of themselves, and then they were forced to go home.
A faculty in Kabul is closed in protest:
Several countries in the region, including Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, have now called on the Taliban to lift the ban. It is also clear that at least part of the population does not want increasingly strict rules. And even among the Taliban, there seem to be discussions about it.
Journalist Latifi: “It is very clear that the Taliban are divided on the issue. I read that a few months ago the spokesperson for the Taliban government said on a television program that if him, he would have closed high schools for teenage girls yesterday would have opened in 32 counties.”
But although there is a difference of opinion within the Taliban, according to Latifi, the part of the Taliban that is against girls’ education seems to be the most powerful at the moment. And that three months ago, thousands of women were still taking university entrance exams. The chance that they will be able to complete their studies in Afghanistan now seems very small.
“We are talking about girls and young women, daughters of female and male doctors, government workers and entrepreneurs who still had some hope that they could do something with their lives in this country. But now they realize that hope is on.
Today’s protest included Zahra, despite the dangers. She and others were immediately arrested. Zahra has now been released. “But what else should I do?” she says. “What if we don’t have universities, if we don’t have schools, if we don’t have jobs? What should I do? I’m young and I have plans for my future . But in this situation, I can’t do anything.”
During a previous protest against strict Taliban rules, Zahra’s camera was broken. Taking photos with a cell phone is also prohibited. “We’re not allowed to wear our dresses that we like. They choose what to wear. We’re not allowed to go anywhere, not to parks, not to talk to boys, so many things which we have not been allowed to do since the Taliban came back in. Everything then changed and it is very bad.
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