Prominent Afghans react to closed girls’ schools

KABUL (TOLOnews): The Ministry of Education’s prohibition of female students over grade 6 to attend school has provoked reactions from the public and some former government officials.
Hamid Karzai, former president of Afghanistan, Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the former government’s reconciliation council, and a number of politicians and former government officials have criticized the Education Ministry’s decision to not allow girls to attend school after grade six, and called on the Islamic Emirate to provide education to all students.
Former president Hamid Karzai said it is deplorable that girls’ schools remain closed, and he called on the Islamic Emirate to not help the agenda of those who want a “needy” and “subordinate” Afghanistan. All girls’ schools should be opened, former president Hamid Karzai said.
Abdullah Abdullah, former HCNR chairman, said on Twitter that access to education is a fundamental Islamic and civil right. He urged the Islamic Emirate to reopen all girls’ schools across the country.
“Education and access to education is a fundamental Islamic and civic right of all our compatriots. School doors should be open to all girls and boys at the beginning of the academic year,” Abdullah Abdullah, former HCNR chairman said.
Meanwhile, some teachers and residents of Kabul say the decision of the Ministry of Education shows a double standard toward students and will have negative consequences.
“Unfortunately, in this Emirate, threats, oppression… are used against women and girls. How much can we tolerate? Our daughters cry at university and we cry at home, our daughters cry at school and we cry at home,” the mother of one of the students said.
“What can we do? We ask them to let our children go to school,” said the mother of one of the students.
“It was promised that in the month of Hamal girls could go to school. If we do not keep our promise we are deceiving and lying, which is not allowed in Islam,” said Habiba Sarabi, a member of the former peace talks.
“Like any of them, I’m heartbroken today. “I want to make it clear that learning and getting an education is not just a right for an Afghan woman, it is a obligatory,” said Fatema Gailani, a member of the former peace talks.
Human rights activists believe that the leaders of the Islamic Emirate should not neglect the education of girls.
“In a situation where girls are deprived of education it means that a generation is gradually being deprived from the political, social, cultural and economic scene in Afghanistan,” said Fawzia Kofi, women’s rights activist.
Allowing all girls to go to school and ensuring women’s rights in Afghanistan is one of the preconditions for the international community to recognize the Islamic Emirate.