It Has Been 1,000 Days Since the Taliban Barred Girls From an Education

AP Photo/Wali Sabawoon

It's been 1,000 days since the Taliban barred girls from secondary education. In Afghanistan today, a girl's education in school ends after 6th grade. 

No other country in the world puts such a limit on the education of girls. When Joe Biden's disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 ushered in the return of the Taliban's takeover, these draconian measures in the name of their religious principles were predicted. The Taliban promised to be kinder, gentler rulers with extreme Islamic law in place. The idiotic Biden administration repeated the promises as though they believed them. Biden and Blinken probably did. They are dangerously inept.


Everything in Afghanistan quickly went back to the bad old days. Women are required to wear hijabs again, with most covered from head to toe in black burkas. Women are not treated as human beings with dignity and rights. They are not allowed in public without a male relative. Women have been banned from public spaces, like parks and recreational areas. They are essentially told to go home and stay there. Out of sight, out of mind.

UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell decided to enter the fray after 1,000 days had passed. She issued a statement that urged the Taliban authorities to allow children, all children, to resume their education again. She also called on the international community to support Afghan girls. 

UNICEF estimates more than 1 million girls are affected by the ban. 

The Taliban is not internationally recognized as the legitimate ruler of Afghanistan. Even Dementia Joe and Winken Blinken do not recognize them as such. The ban on girls' education is its biggest obstacle to receiving that recognition. 

In March, the new school year started with girls barred from attending classes beyond the sixth grade. Female journalists were not allowed to attend the opening ceremony.

The Taliban also have been prioritizing Islamic knowledge over basic literacy and numeracy with their shift toward madrassas, or religious schools.

UNICEF’s executive director called the systematic exclusion of girls “not only a blatant violation of their right to education but also results in dwindling opportunities and deteriorating mental health.”


She said that UNICEF works with partners to run community-based education classes for 600,000 children. Two-thirds of those students are girls. They also train teachers. 

Afghan boys have access to education without the restrictions that are put on girls. Human Rights Watch has reported about abusive educational policies that are harming boys. In December, Human Rights Watch said that deep harm was inflicted on boys' education as qualified teachers left the country, including women teachers. There has been an increase in corporal punishment in schools. 

Why has it taken 1,000 days for UNICEF to hold the Taliban accountable? They are complicit in the abuse against women and children. That's what we were told during the Trump administration - silence is complicity. 

A country that refuses to educate half of its population will not thrive in the world. Afghanistan has a brain drain due to professionals leaving the country. 

The United Nations accuses the Taliban of enforcing a "gender apartheid" with its draconian edicts, policies, and system of institutionalized discrimination against women and girls, calling Afghanistan under the hard-line Islamists a "graveyard of buried hopes."

The good news is that some girls have been able to continue their education in underground schools. They have limited resources - both supplies and teachers. Women's rights and education activists send monthly funding from outside the country. This supplies the schools with textbooks and teachers' salaries. 


These private efforts won't be able to cover all girls but it's better than nothing. Many people sending funds to educate the girls are women who fled Afghanistan when the Taliban took over. 

Thanks, Joe Biden. This is just another international mess that didn't have to happen under his watch. He left a vacuum in Afghan leadership with the disastrous withdrawal of the American military and the Taliban was ready to rush in to fill that vacuum. 


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David Strom 12:40 PM | July 23, 2024