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Afghan girls sit in a classroom at a school in Kabul, Afghanistan
Boys recently resumed their studies, but girls have still been unable to return to classImage: WANA/REUTERS

Afghanistan: Girls could return to school soon, says Taliban

September 21, 2021

The announcement comes after the Taliban established the last members of its all-male Cabinet. The group recently banned women in grades six to 12 from attending school.


Girls in Afghanistan could be allowed to return to school in the near future, the Taliban said on Tuesday.

"We are finalizing things... it will happen as soon as possible," spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on girls' education.

The announcement came after the group announced the remaining positions in its all-male cabinet.

What is the current state of education in Afghanistan?

The Taliban recently imposed restrictions on girls and women, including a measure to not allow girls in grades six to 12 to return to classrooms for the time being.

Mujahid suggested that this was a temporary decision, and that details would soon be announced.

The education ministry ordered male teachers and students back to secondary school over the weekend, but made no mention of women or girls.

Boys in grades six to 12 resumed their studies over the weekend.

What about women in the new Cabinet?

Mujahid also made no reference to the now-closed Ministry of Women's Affairs, which was shut down last week and replaced with a department known for enforcing religious doctrine. He additionally called for international recognition of Afghanistan's Taliban government.

"It is the responsibility of the United Nations to recognize our government (and) for other countries, including European, Asian and Islamic countries, to have diplomatic relations with us,'' he said.

The international community has said, however, that recognition of a Taliban-led government would be linked to the treatment of women and minorities. In their previous rule of Afghanistan in the late 1990s, the Taliban had barred girls and women from schools, work and public life.

Mujahid also held out the possibility of adding women to the Cabinet at a later time, but offered no specifics. He defended the latest additions to the Cabinet, saying that they included membors of ethnic minorities, such as the Hazaras, a group primarily residing in the mountainous central region of Hazarajat.

The Taliban have framed their current Cabinet as an interim government, and have suggested that change is still possible. However, it gave no inidication whether there would be elections or not.

lc/rt (AP, AFP, dpa)

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