October 2021
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Actress Shruti Haasan launches parcos.com        Scotland bundle out Oman for 122        Arrest warrants against 12 war criminals in Bangladesh        Cabinet hikes DA for central govt employees        CGH Earth plans 10 caravan parks across Kerala        Milma launches ‘Deepavali Gift Box’        Presidents of Maldives, Malawi, Israeli PM, US Secretary of State congratulate India on reaching vaccination milestone        Australia recover to post 152/5 as Kohli emerges as sixth bowling option        No application for virtual internship to be entertained: Sebi        IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath to leave job and return to Harvard University        Nepalese national raped in Delhi's Amar Colony area        Kerala rains: 39 dead, 3851 families in rehabilitation camps, says CM Pinarayi        Samajwadi Party has deviated from 'samajwad' to 'pariwarwad': PM        Orthopaedic problems in growing children        Delhi CM meets ace chess player Tania Sachdev, asks Sisodia to felicitate her        Adani group companies to invest over $50-70 billion in renewable energy value chain        Sirajuddin Haqqani meets families of slain suicide bombers, calls them 'heroes of Islam, country'        Modi government failed to control violence in J&K: Rahul        Air Customs officials seize gold worth around Rs 1.42 crores at Kannur Intl Airport        29 killed in Nainital, Almora in Uttarakhand rains        
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International News
Afghan girls deeply concerned over not being allowed to return to school
Kabul, Many girls in Afghanistan are deeply concerned over whether the Taliban will allow girls and young women to return to secondary schools.

The Taliban have effectively banned girls from secondary education in Afghanistan, by ordering high schools to re-open only for boys.

On September 17, the Taliban-run education ministry in a statement said Afghan schools will open for boys but did not mention when girls might be able to return to school. “All male teachers and students should attend their educational institutions,” it said.

The Taliban have claimed they will not replicate the policies of the previous Taliban government (1996-2001), which banned girls’ education, and have promised that girls will be able to study, but in segregated classrooms.

The Ministry of Information and Culture said the caretaker government in cooperation with some religious scholars is working on a plan to open schools for girls.

“The plan will not take a long time, it will be finalized soon. Twenty years ago was different from now. We had economic problems. The country was destroyed and we needed to rebuild it," said Zabihullah Mujahid, Deputy Minister of Culture and Information.

Last week, Mujahid told a press conference in Kabul that the Islamist fundamentalist group was “finalising things” and that secondary school girls will return to the classroom “as soon as possible”.

As part of the Taliban’s new rules on education, girls and women can only be taught by female teachers or, in cases where there are not enough female teachers, by “older” men who have shown that they are “pious”. Likewise, women are able to return to universities but must study under some form of gender segregation.

Mujahid said “a safe learning environment” would need to be established before older girls could fully return to school, without providing any details.

The UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed has voiced concern over keeping girls out of education.

“Ensuring all Afghan girls can be educated must be “a zero condition” for the Taliban, before international recognition of their de facto authority,” she said last week.

Asked if international aid to Afghanistan could be conditional on education for women and girls, Mohammed responded “absolutely”, stating that the issue “continues to remain upfront” in ongoing discussions with the de facto authorities.

“This is where we have to have resolve: that recognition comes with your ability to be part of a global family. That has a certain set of values and rights that must be adhered to. And education is up front and centre, especially for girls and for women.”

The deputy UN chief urged the international community to draw on Afghan women’s expertise and support them in preventing a reversal of two decades of gains in girls’ education.

Binazir Haqjo, a student in eleventh grade, hopes the government will allow girls to continue education.

Binazir Haqjo told Tolo News: “I have not left my home since the government changed. I think all our efforts in the field of learning are being wasted. We had gone to school despite economic and security challenges. Now, we are wasting all this."

Samira, a student said: “ I want to study and I wish to become a judge. If the Taliban keep closing my school, how can I become a judge?”

At the same time, a number of schoolteachers fear that the Taliban’s plan may take years, and girls will remain out of school in the meantime.

“In fact, they (Taliban) don’t want women to study and become literate. They want to take Afghanistan twenty years back,” said Shamsia, a teacher.

“The ideas have not changed. As a woman, I don’t believe in their promises. During the first reign, they promised this and never did it, Suhaila Sadat, a women’s rights activist, told Tolo News.

Earlier this month, the Taliban shut down the government’s ministry of women’s affairs and replaced it with a department for enforcing strict religious doctrine.

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