Education Ban on Afghan Girls: Robbery of Dreams and Hopes
In August 2021, as the entire world full of powerful political parties and supreme leaders did nothing but bated their voices as a silent audience, the conservative religious group Taliban took over Afghanistan’s political power. One doesn’t have to be a history buff to know all the bloodshed and injustice the Taliban had on their backstory when they were in the power of the nation in the late 1990s. So after the coup of 2021, Afghan people, especially women, started counting their days with terror and uncertainty, in fear of being banned once again from actively participating in Afghan society.
While ruling from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban made sure to rob the entire female population of their freedom of will and education. Giving the excuse of religion, they barred girls’ schools, banned them from any sorts of jobs except housekeeping, and imposed restrictions on women’s clothes and travel. Hence this time, when this political group with conservative principles came into power, their promises about a “softer” approach towards women’s rights according to the Shariah Law felt uncertain and doubtful to Afghan women.
Their fear came true when right after the occupation, the Taliban compelled every single women employee and female student to return home and stay there until further notice. They promised that they would reopen schools and invite women employees back to their jobs once they ensured a “proper” environment for them according to the Shariah Law.
In some universities in the capital, female students returned once they followed the dress code and timetable only allowed for women. But unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for thousands of young minds whose dreams came to a halt again last March 23. The Taliban promised to reopen the girls’ school from 7th grade and higher from March 23, 2022. And when thousands of young girls arrived in their schools after leading an uncertain imprisoned life at home for almost a year, they were sent back home with more shattered dreams.
Just hours after the reopening, the Taliban announced that all female students must be sent home immediately until further order. And ironically enough, they didn’t give any valid reason behind this announcement. Even though the international community acknowledged the Taliban’s power on the condition of education for boys and girls alike, the Taliban has still somehow managed to come up with sorry excuses for banning female education.
After the announcement of shutting down schools once again for an uncertain period of time, young Afghan girls once again question their future with tearful eyes. UN and other international communities are finding it utterly frustrating that even after so many restrictions, these young minds are being deprived of the basic right to education. The situation has come to such a position that, after going through so many barriers, the employment for Afghan women in this male-dominated country has become hazy with uncertainty. Many middle-class and low-income families are having doubts about sending their daughters back to school at all. For what is the purpose of the hardship of education if they cannot have the right to build a life of their own, based on their own merits and achievements.