Afghan Taliban deputy calls for reopening girls’ schools

Young girls attend class at a school in the city of Kandahar, southern Afghanistan on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. AFP PHOTO

Tuesday, a top Taliban official urged Afghanistan’s new administration to reopen schools for girls past the sixth grade, arguing that Islam has no justification for the prohibition.

The Taliban deputy foreign minister, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, made the request during a meeting of top Taliban figures in the Afghan capital of Kabul. It was a rare example of a moderate voice despite the Taliban’s harsh policies since they took control of the nation and overran it in August 2021.

Despite early assurances to the contrary, the measures include prohibiting girls from attending middle and high school. In public, women are expected to cover every inch of their bodies, leaving just their eyes exposed.


Although they have stated they are developing a plan to establish secondary schools for girls, the Taliban have not specified when they expect to do so.

The international community has been leery of formally recognizing the Taliban because it fears a return to the same harsh rule that the Taliban imposed when they were last in power in the late 1990s. The United Nations has branded the ban “shameful.”

“It is very important that education must be provided to all, without any discrimination,” Stanikzai said. “Women must get education. There is no Islamic prohibition for girls’ education.”

RELATED: Taliban close girls’ schools that had briefly opened


“Let’s not provide opportunities for others to create a gap between the government and people,” he added. “If there are technical issues, that needs to be resolved, and schools for girls must be opened.”


RELATED: UN: Exclusion of Afghan girls from high schools ‘shameful’


However, it was unclear whether and to what extent Stanikzai could influence the hardliners, who appear to be in charge of the Taliban government.

Stanikzai once served as the leader of the Taliban delegation during the negotiations that resulted in the 2020 Qatar agreement between the Taliban and the US, which called for the complete withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan.



YOUTUBE VIDEO: The Taliban closes Afghan girls’ schools hours after reopening

By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter

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