Girls Excluded for Third Consecutive Year as Afghan Schools Resume Sessions

Wed Mar 20 2024
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KABUL: According to education ministry, schools in Afghanistan commenced the new academic year on Wednesday, marking the third consecutive year that girls have been prohibited from participating in secondary-level classes.

This decision was made by Taliban authorities in March 2022, following their resurgence to power in mid-2021 and subsequent removal of the Western-backed government. The announcement of the new school year was made by the education ministry on Tuesday, coinciding with the beginning of the Afghan calendar’s new year.

The ministry stated that the school year would commence with a ceremonial bell ringing in Kabul, extending to all provinces. Notably, women journalists were explicitly forbidden from covering the ceremony, as conveyed in invitations sent to media outlets.

Under the Taliban’s strict interpretation of Islam, particularly impacting women, the United Nations has criticized the regime’s policies as constituting “gender apartheid.” Additionally, while government universities have also initiated the new academic year, women have been barred from attending since December 2022.

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