Afghan women protest barring of girls from schools


A group of women took to the streets of Kabul on Oct. 26 to protest the continued barring of girls from schools since the Taliban takeover, and accused the international community of being silent about what is going on in Afghanistan. The women gathered at the gates of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), demanding an audience with the agency’s head Deborah Lyons and calling UNAMA’s silence on the situation for women and girls in the country “shameful.” The women chanted “Right to education, right to work, are fundamental rights of women” and “History will be ashamed of the silence of the UN.” (Khaama)

Following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, teenage girls were ordered to stay home from school until a “safe learning environment” could be established. But boys in all grades and girls of primary-school age were told to return to classes. The Taliban’s new Ministry of Interior Affairs said last week that girls will be allowed to return to secondary schools soon, but did not set a date. (Al Jazeera)

In the continuing protests since the Taliban seizure of power, women have been in the vanguard.

Photo: Khaama

  1. Taliban issue decree on women’s rights

    On Dec. 3, the Taliban-led government issued a Decree on Women’s Rights which outlines basic “Islamic” rules concerning marriage and property. 

    The decree states that women should not be forced into marriage, and are not to be considered “property.” It states that women should receive a portion of their late husband’s property and should be able to re-marry after a specific period that their husband dies. However, the decree fails to provide any order on women’s right to education and work. 

    The decree comes after immense pressure by the international community on the Taliban government to respect women’s rights and provide access to education and employment in both private and public sectors. (Jurist)

  2. Afghanistan’s women MPs in exile or hiding

    Afghanistan’s women MPs fled for their lives when the Taliban took power—with only nine of 69 women MPs remaining, in hiding, in the country. Now scattered across the globe, many want to continue fighting for women’s rights and aim to set up an Afghan “women’s parliament in exile.” The largest group, numbering 22, are in Greece. There are also groups in Albania, Turkey and the US. Before the Taliban takeover, women made up 27% of the 250-seat lower-house Wolesi Jirga (House of People). (BBC News, The Hill)

  3. Women continue to protest in Kabul

    A group of women protested outside the office of the United Nations in Kabul Dec. 16. It is was the first demonstration conducted by women without any interference of the Taliban. The women demanded food, work, freedom, and the right to political participation. They urged the international community not to abandon Afghan women. (Jurist)

  4. Taliban renege on promise to open girls’ schools

    The Taliban on March 23 abruptly reversed their decision to allow girls’ high schools to reopen this week, saying that they would remain closed until officials draw up a plan for them to reopen in accordance with Islamic law. (NYT)

  5. Taliban close girls’ schools in Herat province

    Female students in Herat in grades 7-12, who had been allowed to participate in classes, were told to stay home as the Islamic Emirate closed secondary and high schools for the girls across Afghanistan. Herat was the only province where female students above the 6th grade were allowed to go to schools for the first and second day of the school year, but the schools’ doors were closed for them on day-three. (TOLO)

    The Taliban’s Ministry of Promotion of Virtue & Prevention of Vice meanwhile ordered all amusement parks in Kabul to be segregated by gender, open to women and girls from Sundays through Tuesdays and to boys and men Wednesdays through Saturdays. (RFE/RL)