In year without school, girls in Afghanistan risk their lives to get educated

AuthorDEBBIE MOHNBLATT/THE MEDIA LINE
Published date20 September 2022
Publication titleJerusalem Post, The: Web Edition Articles (Israel)
For more stories from The Media Line go to themedialine.org

She told The Media Line that since education was outlawed for girls, she and many others have searched for the means to educate themselves without the Taliban knowing. "If they become aware that girls are receiving education in a certain way, they will ban the means as they banned school for girls," she said.

"I am really afraid that the Taliban will find out I'm teaching English."

Shabnam "Ahmadi"

Shabnam, in addition to continuing her own education through old books that she has, decided to open online English classes for other Afghan girls as she believes it is a way to serve her nation and the Afghan people.

"I am really afraid that the Taliban will find out I'm teaching English," she said. "Every day I delete many messages from my WhatsApp and from my phone before I leave my house." She added that her family is educated, and her sister is a well-known women's rights activist who could attract the Taliban's attention.

However, she is willing to take a chance. "I accept the risk; I'm struggling against theserestrictions, and I will continue my lessons." The Taliban took over Afghanistan in August 2021. Since then, girls' schools have remained closed. The Taliban claim that girls' schools will reopen as soon as they adapt the system toshariah – Islamic religious law. Boys were allowed back to school in September 2021, just weeks after the Taliban takeover, while girls were told to stay home. Over the past year, the Taliban promised to reopen girls' schools several times, but the promises remained unfulfilled once again this week as a new school year began.

The United Nations has expressed dissatisfaction with the situation and has called on the Taliban to reopen schools for girls. Markus Potzel, the acting head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, called the one-year anniversary of girls' schools being closed "tragic, shameful, and entirely avoidable."

"The ongoing exclusion of girls from high school has no credible justification and has noparallel anywhere in the world. It is profoundly damaging to a generation of girls and to thefuture of Afghanistan itself," he added.

Lawyer and women's rights activist Selsela "Ahmadi," Shabnam's sister, told The Media Linethat the Taliban usually reject the statements of the United Nations on the matter, insistingthat the lack of education for girls is a part of the Afghan people's culture.

"These are the kinds of lies always released by the...

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