Girls excluded from returning to secondary school in Afghanistan

Girls were excluded from returning to secondary school in Afghanistan after the Taliban ordered only boys and male teachers back to the classroom

Girls were excluded from returning to secondary school in Afghanistan on Saturday, after the country’s new Taliban rulers ordered only boys and male teachers back to the classroom.

The hardline Islamist group ousted the US-backed government last month, promising a softer brand of rule than their repressive reign in the 1990s, when women were mostly banned from education and work.

“All male teachers and students should attend their educational institutions,” a statement said ahead of classes resuming Saturday.

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.

The United Nations said it was “deeply worried” for the future of girls’ schooling in Afghanistan.

Primary schools have already reopened, with boys and girls mostly attending separate classes and some women teachers returning to work.

– Women’s ministry closed –

In Kabul on Friday, workers were seen raising a sign for the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice at the old Women’s Affairs building in the capital.

No official from the Taliban responded to requests for comment.

Hundreds of thousands have entered the workforce — a necessity in some cases as many women were widowed or now support invalid husbands as a result of decades of conflict.

– Horrible mistake –

The strike during the final days of the US pullout was meant to target a suspected IS operation that US intelligence believed with “reasonable certainty” was planning to attack Kabul airport, said US Central Command commander General Kenneth McKenzie.

McKenzie said the government was looking into how payments for damages could be made to the families of those killed.

The UN Security Council voted Friday to extend the UN political mission in Afghanistan for six months, with a focus on development issues but not peacekeeping.

Originally published as Girls excluded from returning to secondary school in Afghanistan

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