Accessibility links

Breaking News

Dozens Rally In Kabul To Protest Taliban Ban On Girls Attending School


Afghan women and girls take part in a protest in Kabul on March 26, demanding that high schools be reopened for female students.

Dozens of teachers, students, and women's rights activists rallied in Kabul on March 26 against a ban on girls attending school beyond the sixth grade.

Footage on local media showed a few dozen women, together with girls wearing school uniforms and carrying textbooks, chanting "open the schools" and demanding their rights to study and work.

An organizer said that the march had begun in front of the Taliban-run education ministry in the capital and ended peacefully.

On March 23 , more than 1 million Afghan girls got ready to return to school but were turned away following a last-minute reversal of the Taliban's decision to reopen schools for them.

The radical group which seized control of the country in a blitz offensive in August 2021, gave no reason for the turnaround, which sparked national and international outcry.

International organizations and world governments have called on the Taliban to reconsider their decision immediately.

First Day At School For Girls Since Taliban Takeover Ends In Bitter Disappointment
please wait

No media source currently available

0:00 0:01:49 0:00

U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West said he is hopeful that there will be a reversal in the coming days.

West spoke at the Doha Forum in Qatar, where meetings are being held to address key economic issues.

The United States abruptly canceled meetings with the Taliban in Doha after the militant group's reversal of its decision to allow all girls to return to high school classes.

“We have canceled some of our engagements, including planned meetings in Doha and around the Doha Forum, and have made clear that we see this decision as a potential turning point in our engagement," Deputy U.S. State Department spokesperson Jalina Porter said in a statement.

Ten members of the UN Security Council issued a statement late on March 25 about the Taliban decision to ban girls from attending classes.

"Our message is clear: All girls in Afghanistan should be able to go to school," 10 members of the UN Security Council said in a joint statement late on March 25.

Since returning to power on August 15, the Taliban has rolled back two decades of gains made by the country's women, who have been squeezed out of many government jobs, barred from travelling alone, and ordered to dress according to a strict interpretation of the Koran.

The Taliban had promised a softer version of the harsh Islamist rule that characterized their first stint in power from 1996 to 2001.

But many restrictions have still been imposed, prompting some Afghan women to push back against the Taliban's curbs, holding small protests where they have demanded the right to education and work.

But the Taliban soon rounded up the ringleaders, holding them incommunicado while denying that they had been detained.

With reporting by dpa and AFP
  • 16x9 Image

    RFE/RL's Radio Azadi

    RFE/RL's Radio Azadi is one of the most popular and trusted media outlets in Afghanistan. Nearly half of the country's adult audience accesses Azadi's reporting on a weekly basis.