ANI Photo | Afghanistan: Paktia University graduates call on Taliban to reopen schools, universities for girls

Graduates of a medical school in Afghanistan’s Paktia University on their graduation day called on the Taliban to reopen schools and universities for girls immediately, Afghanistan-based TOLO News reported, adding that the graduates stressed that girls have the right to education and their time should not be wasted.
Ahmadullah, a graduate student, said there were girls with them during this period. He further said that girls have been banned from universities after the Taliban seized power in August 2021, according to the TOLO News report.
Mohammad Mustafa, a graduate student, said, “In a society, we need female and male doctors.” Some of the family members of the graduate students who took part in the ceremony expressed hope that one day their daughters will get the graduation certificate along with the boys.
Dawood, a Paktia resident, said, “We all want to reopen schools and universities for girls and for girls to also get their diplomas along with the boys.” Baraktullah Takal, a Paktia resident, said, “We call on higher education to allow girls to go to schools and universities because we need female doctors,” TOLO News reported.
Taliban-led deputy minister of Higher Education said they will act on the matter regarding girls’ education according to the decision of Taliban leadership.
Lutfullah Khairkhwa said, “It is clear to everyone that it is suspended until the second order, when we have the second order, schools will start on that date,” TOLO News reported. The information shared by officials said that 146 people graduated from the medical school of Paktia University. However, there were no female graduates among them.
Meanwhile, the UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Irene Khan, at the 53rd regular session of the Human Rights Council said in Afghanistan, women’s public presence has been totally erased by the ‘Taliban’, TOLO News reported. Irene Khan in the report said that women’s rights groups play an important role in the struggle for gender equality and in promoting the agency of women.
“Women’s rights groups play an important role in the struggle for gender equality and in promoting the agency of women. They have come under pressure as civic space has shrunk in a number of countries, the most egregious example being Afghanistan, where women’s public presence has been totally erased by the Taliban,” the report read, as per TOLO News.
Secretary at the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to UNOG, Suraya Azizi, said, “Since the unlawful takeover of Afghanistan, women and girls continue to remain at an ever-increasing risk of violence. Mr President, systematic discrimination against women and girls, a core element of the Taliban’s form of rule, has normalized gender-based violence. The restrictive environment they face outside the homes has multiplied instances of domestic violence.”
“Ignoring women’s ability to run the government and removing them from social, political, and civil positions will leave the nation with more economic and social problems and lead to personality stagnation in a generation,” said Nazela Hassanzada, a women’s rights activist, according to TOLO News.
Suhail Shaheen, the head of the Taliban’s political office in Qatar, challenged claims that women had been entirely exiled from the political and social sphere, saying some women were employed by institutions of the Afghan government and they would be assigned in other institutions.

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