This Academic Session, Taliban Is Keeping 1 Million Girls Out Of School

As the school year commenced in Afghanistan, a stark reality emerged once again — the Taliban, for the third consecutive year, has prohibited girls from attending classes beyond the sixth grade.

Pavi Vyas
New Update

Image Credit : AP

The commencement of the school year in Afghanistan has once again brought to light the persistent issue of gender disparity in education, with girls being denied access to classes beyond the sixth grade for the third consecutive year. This move, orchestrated by the Taliban, has not only halted the educational journey of countless young girls but has also drawn widespread condemnation from global humanitarian organizations. The UN Children's Agency has reported that over 1 million girls have been adversely affected by this discriminatory ban imposed by the Taliban. This denial of education is not merely a setback for individual girls but also constitutes a grave violation of their fundamental rights. Furthermore, it perpetuates a cycle of inequality and impedes the socio-economic progress of the nation as a whole.


Ceremony Excludes Female Journalists

The Taliban's education ministry kicked off the new academic year with a ceremony that notably lacked any female presence. Female journalists were expressly forbidden from attending, with organizers citing flimsy reasons such as inadequate accommodations. This exclusionary stance not only highlights the deep-seated oppression Afghan women endure but also emphasizes the widespread gender discrimination within the Taliban's rule.

Historical Context

The Taliban's stance on girls' education traces back to their previous rule in the 1990s, when they enforced a similar ban, depriving an entire generation of Afghan girls of their right to learn. Despite assurances of a more moderate approach this time around, the Taliban's actions have remained regressive, disregarding the aspirations and rights of Afghan women and girls.

Educational Policy Under the Taliban

Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, the Deputy Foreign Minister of the Taliban-appointed Afghanistan, previously expressed his views on the ban on women's education in the country, reasoning that it had distanced nations from the country due to the ban on women's education.


According to TOLO News, Afghanistan's news channel broadcasting from Kabul, Stanikzai opined that "the main reason why people are distanced from the Taliban is its continued ban on women's education." He also opined that the ban is against Islamic laws and stated it to be "oppression against Afghans," while calling out the society as "dark."

It has been three years since the Taliban deprived women in Afghanistan of secondary and higher education by banning them from attending school after 10 years of age, along with banning women's access to other public places and many other rules for women that have been condemned as "anti-women" oppressive rules.

Recently, the Taliban-appointed Deputy Foreign Minister of Afghanistan, Stanikzai, stressed at a graduation ceremony the dire need to reopen schools for girls after grade 6 as well, as he opined that society without knowledge is "dark."Stanikzai opined that education is everyone's right given by God and prophets and questioned how someone can take this "natural right" from them. Stanikzai stated that an attempt to violate these natural rights is oppression against Afghans. Urging to try to reopen schools for everyone, Stanikzai also stated that the country's only problem today with the neighbouring nations is due to the country's education issue.

The graduation ceremony that was held by the Ministry of Borders and Tribal Affairs celebrated students marking graduation under the educational entities of the ministry. Noorullah Noori, the Taliban-appointed Minster of Borders and Tribal Affairs, stated that there has been no distance between tribal and modern education in the country, and students living in far-off areas with a lack of access to education have enrolled in the schools where they are taught under the Islamic Emirate's Rules.

Habibullah Agha, the Taliban-appointed Acting Education Minister, recently criticised the quality of education in the country as "poor" in the religious schools and urged religious scholars and the Taliban to pay serious heed towards improving the quality of education.

Since the Taliban acquired the rule of Afghanistan, the country has been stated as the worst country for women's progress. It has deprived women of even access to education, as it states modern education has lessons that are against Islam and states women are granted education by female home tutors.


The ban has resulted in a severe decline in the literacy rate, as more than 1.1 million people, according to UNESCO, have lost access to secondary and higher education, which is a severe violation of human rights, snatching empowerment and perpetuating gender inequality and discrimination against women.

The Toll on Boys' Education

While much attention has rightly been directed towards the plight of girls under the Taliban's educational policies, it is imperative to recognize the broader impact on boys' education as well. Human Rights Watch has documented instances of "abusive" educational practices, including regressive curriculum changes and increased corporal punishment, which have adversely affected the educational landscape for both genders. The departure of qualified teachers, including women, further exaggerates the challenges faced by Afghan youth in accessing quality education.

Taliban women under taliban Afghan Women Education Ban