Women in northern Balkh province, the majority of whom are students who have been refused the right to attend classes, are demanding educational institutions be immediately reopened for girls, in fresh efforts to pressure the Taliban to relax their ban on female education.
With the start of new academic year underway, only boys and men are allowed to attend high school, university and educational institutes as the Taliban maintains girls and women are banned.
The group of women launching the new appeal say they will continue the protest until school and universities are reopened.
Mehria Karimi, a student of the Law and Political Sciences of Balkh University who is participating told Rukhshana Media, “All the girls who used to go to school and university are now deprived, the “until further notice” [from the Taliban] still has not come to an end. I don’t know which Islam they are talking about, Islam, which has a chapter named “Zan” (woman) and a chapter named “Qalam” (pen) in the Holy Quran, has not opposed the education of women. So, on what basis do they deprive girls of this right?”
“I have protested previously that the gates of the schools should be opened, and I protest today, and I will protest for the rest of my life for the opening of schools and universities and against the taking of our rights,” Mehria says.
At the gathering of women, the demonstrators accused the Taliban of discriminating against women and say that education is one of the fundamental rights of citizens in terms of religious values and the Taliban should not prevent this right.
“Our request from the Taliban is to provide education for boys and girls in schools and universities without discrimination. Islam has also given women the right to education,” another protester Halima Rahmani told Rukshana Media. “We call on the Taliban to open girls’ schools and universities in respect of the holy month of Ramadan, which is the month when the Quran was revealed.”
The women also called on the citizens of Afghanistan to stand in solidarity with them to fulfill their rightful demands in reopening of schools and universities to women.
After the Taliban took power in Afghanistan, they immediately banned girls from high school, and soon after, banned them from university and educational institutions.
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