Taliban closed down schools and colleges for girls in Afghanistan hours after their reopening during the retreat of US troops last August. Although the Taliban government has hinted at the “mechanism” was in the works to allow girls to attend secondary school, Afghanistan interior minister Sirajuddin Haqqani, in an exclusive interview to CNN-News18, said girls have been given rights which were long overdue, and the government is working on some issues in education.
He told CNN-News18, “For women’s education, people can come to Afghanistan and see themselves that the Islamic Emirate has bestowed on women their rights which were due. Some issues are pending and we are working hard to overcome them.”
The Taliban had banned girls from continuing secondary education in March and blamed lack of teachers for closing down of schools. The Taliban leaders also said they first needed to create an appropriate environment for girl students, and also ensure they have the right uniforms.
The Taliban’s education ministry had said school opening will be postponed “until further notice when a comprehensive plan, in accordance with Sharia and Afghan culture, is developed”.
According to UNESCO report in 2021, “The number of girls in higher education increased from around 5,000 in 2001 to around 90,000 in 2018.” The conversation.com media outlet, around 16% of schools took girls but there were few women teachers, especially in rural areas.
Haqqani had earlier said “there is no one who opposes education for women”. He argued girls could already go to primary school. “Above that grade, the work is continuing on a mechanism” to allow girls to attend secondary school, he said in his first televised interview.
After they seized power, the Taliban demanded that women wear at least a hijab, a scarf covering the head but revealing the face.
But since the beginning of May, they have instead forced them to wear a full veil in public and preferably a burqa, which had been compulsory when they first ran the country between 1996 and 2001.