Kabul [Afghanistan], March 23 (ANI): The Taliban has allowed girls to return to high schools from Wednesday, ending the uncertainty over whether the Islamic group would allow full access to education for girls.
Teenage girls across will return to their classrooms after being banned after the Islamic outfit sized power last August. Since taking power, the Taliban have rolled back women's rights in virtually every area, including crushing women's freedom of movement.
The vast majority of girls' secondary schools were closed. Universities recently reopened, with new gender segregation rules. But many women are unable to return, in part because the career they studied for is off limits now as the Taliban banned women from most jobs.
"Critical period ahead for Afghanistan as school and colleges soon re-open after winter break. UNAMA conducted a discussion on Higher Education yesterday with Mawlawi Abdul Baqi Haqqani. Importance of equal access to quality education for all & guarantees for academic freedom was stressed," the UN Mission in Afghanistan said in a tweet.
Heather Barr, former senior Afghanistan researcher, at Human Rights Watch (HRW), said opening girls' secondary schools is hugely important.
According to HRW, women and girls are blocked from accessing health care as some healthcare facilities require them to bring a mahram. Reports suggest that women and girls facing violence have no escape route if they can flee only with an abuser escorting them.
Allowing girls into schools and other educational institutes has been one of the main demands of the international community.
The majority of countries have refused to formally recognise the Taliban amid worries over their treatment of girls and women. and other human rights issues.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday had welcomed the plan announced by the Taliban to reopen schools for girls and boys. (ANI)