Taliban ban on girls' education takes "shocking" toll
Afghanistan - A rights watchdog warned on Wednesday that the Taliban’s ban on education has caused girls in Afghanistan to lose 300 days of their studies, with devastating consequences for them, their families, and the country’s future.
"It feels beyond belief that we could be having a conversation in 2022 about whether girls should be allowed to study," said Sahar Fetrat, assistant women's rights researcher at US-based Human Rights Watch.
"We’re so grateful to the strong Afghan women who spoke with us. The world should listen to them and do more to end this shocking abuse. Every day, millions of Afghan girls are losing opportunities and dreams they can never get back," she added.
The rights group featured six prominent Afghan women in a video about the continuing ban on education. In it, the women share their personal experiences and provide insight into the plight of the millions of Afghan girls who now see no future for themselves in the country.
After returning to power last August, the Taliban issued a ban on teenage girls attending school. They have refused to let young girls return to class despite continued pressure from some within Afghan society and the international community.
Women have been forced out of public life under the hard-line government. Afghanistan, the nation with the world’s highest illiteracy rate, is now the only country in the world that is denying girls education.
Women’s rights activists claim that school closures have further exacerbated the issues of forced marriages and family violence in traditional Afghan society.
Cover photo: REUTERS