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Afghan schoolboys protest Taliban diktat against girls, say they won't return without classmates

Afghan schoolboys protest Taliban diktat against girls, say they won't return without classmates

Afghanistan children are protesting on social media after Taliban asked only high school boys to return to class.

Taliban has ordered high schools to re-open but only for boys, sparking protests across the country. The extremist group has all but banned girls from returning to school but many boys aren't returning to school either. Many of them are protesting for the right of girls to return to school by skipping school. In the latest edict from the Taliban, the group has said middle and high school boys can now return to school but fails to mentions anything about when girls of the same age, reported My Modern Met. The school is re-opening after a one-month hiatus. 

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 24: Mozhda, 16, a 10th grade student listens during class at the Zarghoona high school on July 24 2021 in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Zarghoona girls high school is one of the largest in Kabul with 8,500 female students attending classes.Today was a brief school opening after almost a two months break due to Coronavirus. Currently there is widespread fear that the Taliban who already control around half the country will reintroduce its notorious system barring girls and women from almost all work, and access to education. The Ministry of Education has announced the opening of schools, but there are mixed reports in many areas where the Taliban have taken control or where fighting is ongoing. (Photo by Paula Bronstein /Getty Images)

 



 

 

Kids are protesting the Taliban's repressive rule online with many posting pictures of them holding signs calling for the return of girls as well. One of the popular phrases being held up reads: "We don’t go to school without our sisters.” It has since become a hashtag for the cause. “I didn’t go to school today to show my disagreement with the Taliban, and to protest them forbidding girls going to school,” said a boy named Rohullah, reported The Wall Street Journal. “Women make up half the society. This shows that the Taliban haven’t changed. I will not show up at school until girls’ schools are open too.” Rohullah is just one of many boys protesting for their classmates to return to school along with them.



 

 

Despite vowing to be more progressive than its last rule, the Taliban is once again implementing regressive practices. “All male teachers and students should attend their educational institutions,” read the statement released by the Taliban. This move is just one of many, with the government recently handing the former ministry of women’s affairs building in Kabul to the newly re-established ministry for the prevention of vice and promotion of virtue.

 

Kate Clark, co-director of the Afghanistan Analysts Network, said the Taliban is enforcing rules that have nothing to do with Islam. "Education and literacy are so strongly valued in Islam that the Taliban could not ban girls in schools on Islamic grounds, so they always said they would open them when security improved. It never did. They never opened the schools,” said Clark, reported The Guardian. Even in primary school where girls can attend school, they are segregated and separated by a curtain from the rest of the class. The Taliban also said girls and women can only be taught by women teachers or, in cases where there are no women teachers, by older men who are considered “pious.” Taliban has also promised women will be able to return to universities but they haven't made any announcement on it yet.

KABUL, AFG- JULY 25: Afghan female students wait in line to walk out after classes at the Zarghoona high school on July 25, 2021 in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Zarghoona girls high school is the largest in Kabul with 8,500 female students attending classes. The school opened after almost a two months break due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Currently, there is widespread fear that the Taliban who already control around half the country will reintroduce its notorious system barring girls and women from almost all work, and access to education. The Ministry of Education has announced the opening of schools, but there are mixed reports in many areas where the Taliban have taken control or where fighting is ongoing. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

 

The Taliban said girls will be able to continue their high-school education but said it would take more time. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the group was “finalizing things” to let girls return to the classroom “as soon as possible,” reported Al Jazeera. The Taliban has also taken a similar approach to working women as well, allowing men to return to work while telling women security arrangements are not in place for them to return to work. The Taliban's promise to be progressive is already falling apart, and probably with it, its hope of international recognition and securing funding as the country faces economic collapse. 



 

 

Afghan people are using social media to register their protest against the Taliban on various issues. After the Taliban announced that women should wear black hijabs, women hit back stating that the group was imposing diktats that weren't a part of Afghan culture.  As we reported, the online movement was started by Bahar Jalali, a former faculty member of the American University of Afghanistan. Jalali quote-tweeted a picture of a woman in a full black dress and veil and wrote: "No woman has ever dressed like this in the history of Afghanistan. This is utterly foreign and alien to Afghan culture. I posted my pic in the traditional Afghan dress to inform, educate, and dispel the misinformation that is being propagated by Taliban." This turned into a campaign as other women followed suit, by posting images of them wearing the traditional Afghan attire. The colorful dresses bore a stark contrast to the black hijabs mandated by the Taliban.

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