The security forces dispersed a mobilization of Afghan women who demanded the recovery of their rights to work and education that were taken from them since the government took over last year. Due to its supposed contradiction “with the religious and cultural practices of Muslim society”, the authorities restricted young women from training areas, with the exception of universities, turning female education into an illegal activity.
The struggle of women for the restitution of the rights to receive an education and access to a job again added a chapter in Afghanistan. This Saturday, August 13, a protest that was taking place in front of the Ministry of Education was shot down by order of the rulers.
Almost on the first anniversary since the fundamentalists took power – it will be on Monday – the citizens gathered in Kabul to mobilize, but were dispersed by armed men and gunshots.
In a video published on social networks, an activist stated that the reasons for today’s march was “to raise voices against the Taliban”, but she explained that as soon as they arrived at the scene, the security forces “began to open fire to separate the members of the demonstration.”
The setback in the most basic women’s rights has been profound, being left out of schools beyond the sixth grade and work spaces, a context that generated frequent protests that are not endorsed by the leaders, who detain and attack the concurrent.
This is the second one that has occurred in the last ten days. Last Wednesday, August 3, another group of teachers and students complained in the Afghan capital, claiming that the decision “has no justification in Islamic law.”
The suspension of the educational system for women interrupted 20 consecutive years since its reinstatement, achieved in 2001 after the departure of another Taliban administration. The only exception beyond the sixth year is university, something that will be irrelevant when girls stop graduating from secondary education.
Despite the fact that in 2021 they had given their word to reopen schools for girls between the ages of 12 and 18 as soon as the contents were “adapted” to Islamic law, the promise was never fulfilled.
Last March, the Ministry of Education had announced that the school year would be for both genders. However, on the same day that classes began, the supreme leader, Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, reversed course and locked out thousands of teenagers.
The issue has mixed paths among the movement’s own members. Some, more conciliatory and seeking favor from abroad, want to give the green light for women to study; others, notably the rural tribal elders who make up the backbone, are reticent.
This uncompromising stance taken by the rulers, which led hundreds of teachers to leave Afghanistan, made female education an illegal practice and had to be carried out underground.
In private homes, civilians take risks in order to bring an option to the thousands of girls who were marginalized from schools.
“This situation is very sad and worrying,” said Sodaba Nazhand, one of the leaders of an illegal school that opposes the government’s decision and teaches English, science and mathematics to high school-aged students.
The international community and organizations in favor of human rights have been critical of the administration, which claimed that they are “unfounded” reasons. The Foreign Ministry responded that the measures imposed are “in accordance with the religious and cultural practices of society.”
With EFE and AP
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