A statement released in Afghanistan on Friday by the Taliban excluded girls from returning to secondary school in Afghanistan on Saturday. The rulers ordered only boys and male teachers back to the classroom.
The Taliban ousted the US-backed government in August, taking over Afghan palace.
The Taliban had promised a softer brand of rule than their repressive reign in the 1990s, when women were mostly banned from education and work. But the diktat from the education ministry was the latest move from the new government to threaten women’s rights.
Secondary schools, with students typically between the ages of 13 and 18, are often segregated by sex in Afghanistan. During the Covid-19 pandemic, they have faced repeated closures and have been shut since the Taliban seized power.
Since a US-led invasion ousted the Taliban in 2001, significant progress was made on girls’ education, with the number of schools tripling and female literacy nearly doubling to 30 per cent. However, the change was largely limited to the cities.