Taliban officials in Afghanistan decided on Wednesday not to establish schools for girls above the sixth grade, breaking a previous commitment and instead to accommodate their conservative support base.
The decision was made at the beginning of the new school year in Afghanistan. Since regaining power, the international community has urged Taliban leaders to reopen schools and grant women the right to public space.
Earlier this week, the ministry issued a statement urging “all students” to attend school on March 23.
According to sources, the decision was made because parents in the country’s rural and largely tribal areas, which form the backbone of the hardline Taliban organisation, were hesitant to send their girls to school. Since the Taliban’s return in August, girls have been barred from attending school beyond the sixth grade in the majority of the nation.
When the Taliban took control last year, all schools were closed because of the Covid epidemic, but only boys and some younger girls were permitted to resume courses two months later.
With some governments and organisations proposing to pay instructors, the international community has made the right to education for everyone a sticking issue in discussions over aid and recognition of the new administration.
The Taliban had previously stated that they intended to guarantee that schools for girls aged 12 to 19 were separated and operated in accordance with Islamic norms.