Closed Girls’ Schools Sparked Domestic, Intl Reactions Since March

Closed Girls’ Schools Sparked Domestic, Intl Reactions Since March

The closed schools above grade six for female students faced reactions at the national and international level since March.

Although the Islamic Emirate said that schools for the female students in grade 7-12 will be reopened, there has yet to be a final decision announced.

The Ministry of Education had announced the reopening of all schools for girls and boys, but on March 22 girls beyond grade six were not allowed to attend their schools.

“My heart melts in blood, for how long?” a student told TOLOnews on that day.

“They ruined our hope. We are girls, we have dreams. We want to study to become a doctor or engineer but they don’t want us to study,” said Malika, a student.

“In the new solar year of 140, on the third of Hamal, the doors of schools will be reopened to all girls and boys,” said Aziz Ahmad Riyan, a spokesman for the Ministry of Education.

The Islamic Emirate’s decision to ban girls above grade six from going to their schools faced widespread reactions.

Many Afghans, including teachers, students and women’s rights defenders, took to the streets of the capital Kabul, where they called for girls’ access to education and women’s access to work.

“We are gathered today to raise our voices and to not allow a generation to be deprived of education,” said Monisa Mubariz, a protestor.

“The basic human and Islamic right of girls should not be politicized,” said Suhrab, a protestor.

The calls for reopening girls' school was made by several Islamic clerics in Afghanistan and neighboring countries.

“Who has given this Fatwa (order), why?—and what is the reason for it? They give me one reason for the closing of the female schools,” he said.

“This is our right and based on the Islamic law, the doors of schools should be reopened,” said Mullah Imam, a religious cleric.

In reaction to the ban on girls secondary and high school, the UN Secretary General, European Union, US, Germany and many countries around the world reacted to the decision of girls' schools being closed.

Reuters reported then that the US cancelled its meeting with the officials of the Islamic Emirate.

“In line with that, it is just a fact that today’s announcement will have an immediate impact on the Taliban’s ability to gain legitimacy and international political support,” said Ned Price, a spokesman for the US Department of State.

However, many top Islamic Emirate officials stressed the need for reopening girls' schools in the near future.

“No one opposes girls' and women's education. In the current situation, the girls from grade one to six are going to school. A plan is underway to facilitate the reopening of schools for female students above grade six,” said Sirajuddin Haqqani, acting Minister of Interior.

The spokesman of the Islamic Emirate said then that a committee comprised of nine-members would solve the issue of reopening schools for girls.

“The Islamic clerics will hold a meeting on this issue. The clerics will make decision about the reopening of the schools,” said Aziz Ahmad Riyan, a spokesman for the Ministry of Education.

But there was no information about the activities of the committee.

“This is a problem which needs to be solved. The government is obliged to solve this problem of the people but when the ground is paved for it and the religious clerics make decisions about it, it will take some time,” said Islamic Emirate’s spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid.

Earlier, the acting Minister of Education said that the girls’ schools are closed due to cultural issues.

“The people don’t have the problem with the reopening of girls schools but they have problems with girls going out of their homes. The Afghan culture is sensitive in this regard,” he said.