By: Rukhshana Media
Dozens of schoolgirls and female teachers held a protest in the streets of Gardiz city, Paktia’s provincial capital, after they were not allowed to enter their school in the morning of Saturday, September 10, local sources said.
Girls’ secondary schools remained closed throughout Afghanistan. The Taliban banned girls between sixth and twelfth grade from going to school after they returned to power over one year ago.
But some girls’ schools were reopened in Paktia last week, taking many by surprise including the Taliban who swiftly reacted, saying only their top leaders have the authority to make such a decision.
The girls went to schools for a week in Paktia. Dozens of girls and female teachers took the streets of Gardiz city after they were barred from entering Simin Akbari Samkanai school on Saturday morning.
Videos show schoolgirls wearing black abayas and white scarves, and their teachers put on blue burqas, walking side by side in Gardiz city, chanting inaudible slogans.
One source said the Taliban’s intelligence officers have questioned five principals who had allowed girls to return to their schools in Gardiz. The Taliban fired warning shots to disperse the protesters, according to him. It was not immediately clear if anyone was hurt.
The second source said the Taliban warned local journalists to not cover the protest.
An eleventh grade student at Simin Akbari Samkanai, who took part in the protest, criticized the Taliban for taking girls’ education hostage for more than one year. She said she and other schools protested after they were not allowed to return to school on Saturday morning.
All three sources spoke on the condition of anonymity for safety reasons.