The Taliban banned girls from attending elementary school, effectively instituting a total ban on the education of girls and women and dealing one of the most dramatic blows yet to women’s freedoms since seizing power last year.
In a gathering in Kabul with private-school directors, clerics and community representatives, Taliban officials on Wednesday also barred female staff, including teachers, from working in schools, closing off one of the few professions that had remained open to Afghan women under the new government, according to school principals who attended the meeting. They also said adult women could no longer visit mosques or attend religious seminaries.
Ghulam Sarwar Haidari, a shopkeeper in Kabul, said his daughter Mahbooba was sent home when she arrived at the tutoring center where she was attending classes in preparation for the coming semester in fifth grade. Mahbooba had hoped to study medicine and return to their home village in Ghazni province, where there are no female doctors.
“My daughter has locked herself in a room since this morning and won’t stop crying,” Mr. Haidari said. “All her hopes are broken. We are tired to death of this situation, and only wonder when it will be over.”
Wednesday’s announcement came a day after the Taliban government closed universities to women and further restricts opportunities for Afghan girls and women, who have been pushed out of public and professional life since the hard-line movement took power. [Continue reading…]