• The Taliban’s ban on girls’ education will not persist forever, Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai has declared, highlighting that Afghan women now know what it is to be “empowered”.
  • It is much more difficult this time — because women have experienced what it means to be educated and empowered.
  • Girls’ education should be a prerequisite for the Taliban to receive international recognition.

 

 

 

Girls’ education will not persist forever!

The Taliban’s ban on girls’ education will not persist forever, Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai has declared, highlighting that Afghan women now know what it is to be “empowered”. The military group, now dominating Afghanistan, closed females’ secondary schools barely hours after reopening them last week, triggering a tiny protest by women and girls in the capital Kabul.

 

“I believe it was far simpler for the Taliban [in 1996] to impose a ban on girls’ education,” Yousafzai, who received the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for her struggle for all children’s access to education, told the Doha Forum in Qatar on Saturday. “It is much more difficult this time — because women have experienced what it means to be educated and empowered. This time, the Taliban will have a much more difficult time enforcing their prohibition on female education. This prohibition will not continue in perpetuity.” During the Taliban’s reign of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, when it was deposed by a US-led assault, the Taliban prohibited girls from attending school (Aljazeera, 2022).

 

 

Afghan women and girls take part in a protest in front of the Ministry of Education in Kabul demanding that high schools be reopened for girls [Ahmad Sahel Arman/AFP]

International recognition for Taliban

It reclaimed power following the withdrawal of US soldiers in August last year. The US said on Friday that it has canceled planned talks with the Taliban in Doha following this week’s school closures.

“On Tuesday, we joined millions of Afghan families in voicing our outrage at the Taliban’s decision to bar women and girls from returning to secondary school,” a State Department official said on Friday.

“We have canceled several engagements, including planned meetings in Doha [Qatar’s capital] in conjunction with the Doha Forum, and made it clear that we view this as a possible turning point in our relationship.” US special envoy Thomas West said on Saturday that he expects the Taliban will reverse its decision “in the coming days.” Yousafzai, who escaped a Pakistani Taliban assassination attempt when she was 15, argued that girls’ education should be a prerequisite for the Taliban to receive international recognition (Aljazeera, 2022).

“They should not be recognized if they do not respect women and girls’ human rights,” she stated.

‘All schools must be opened!’

On Saturday, more than two dozen girls and women demonstrated in front of Kabul’s Ministry of Education. The Taliban has yet to explain its decision, which means that girls over the sixth grade will be unable to attend school. “All schools must be opened! On Saturday, demonstrators screamed “Justice, justice!” as they gathered in a Kabul main square, some holding schoolbooks.

They marched for a short distance, holding banners that said “Education is a fundamental right, not a political strategy,” before dispersing as Taliban gunmen came on the site. “It’s essentially a generational genocide,” Fawzia Koofi, former head of Afghanistan’s Women, Civil Society, and Human Rights Commission, told the gathering.

“How could anyone in the twenty-first century… prohibit girls from obtaining an education?” “I believe the rest of the world, particularly the Muslim world, should reject,” she stated (Aljazeera, 2022).

 

Bibliography

Aljazeera. (2022, March 26). Afghanistan: Taliban girls’ education ban won’t last, says Malala . Retrieved from Aljazeera: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/3/26/girls-education-ban-wont-last-nobel-laureate-malala

 

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