AP

Taliban announcement a clear sign girls returning to school

Mar 20, 2022, 9:33 PM | Updated: Mar 21, 2022, 9:47 am

FILE - Afghan girls students attend school classes in a primary school in Kabul, Afghanistan, Satur...

FILE - Afghan girls students attend school classes in a primary school in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, March 27, 2021. Schools for all students will open this week, Afghanistan's Taliban-run Education Ministry announced Monday, March 21, 2022 the clearest sign yet that girls will be back in school. Girls have been denied education beyond Grade 6 since the Taliban swept back to power in August 2021. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File)

(AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Schools for all students will open this week, Afghanistan’s Taliban-run Education Ministry announced Monday in the clearest sign yet that girls will be allowed back in school.

Girls have been denied education beyond Grade 6 since the Taliban swept back into power last August.

The international community has been relentless in urging Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers to allow girls to return to school. Earlier this year, the new rulers opened up universities for women, although classes are gender segregated. They also promised girls would be allowed to return to classes in all grades following the Afghan new year, which was being celebrated Monday.

The statement said classes will start Wednesday.

The ministry statement does not refer specifically to girls but it says: “The education ministry assures the nation it is committed to the right to education of all its citizens.”

The statement says the ministry is also “working hard to eliminate all kinds of discrimination,” without elaborating. It urges all Afghans to send their children to schools or madrassas, which are religious educational facilities.

The Taliban rulers have not imposed restriction on the types of courses that women attending university can take. But music, which had previously been taught, is no longer available. While the Taliban have not banned music and musicians have occasionally appeared on local TV, music is frowned upon by the hard-line religion-driven rulers.

When they last ruled, music was banned, girls were denied education and women were not allowed to work and were required to wear the all encompassing burqa. The Taliban were ousted in 2001 by a U.S.-led coalition.

After sweeping back into power last August following America’s chaotic end to 20 years of war in Afghanistan, a nervous international community watched as Taliban sent women home from work and closed public universities in all but 10 provinces. They allowed only boys to attend school beyond Grade 7.

The Taliban have not re-imposed the burqa, though women are required to wear the hijab, which can be any covering including a large shawl provided the head is covered.

The Taliban rulers have also allowed women back to work in the health and education ministries and at Kabul’s international airport, where they are at passport control and customs. They have also returned to work in the private sector and for non-government aid organizations.

Still, in other ministries women are not back on the job.

The World Food Program will be stepping up its school meals program and will offer cash assistance to high school girls to encourage them to stay in school.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

moore redmond washington...

Associated Press

U.S. Supreme Court rules against Redmond couple challenging foreign income tax

The court ruled in the case of Charles and Kathleen Moore, of Redmond, Washington after they previously challenged a $15,000 tax bill.

3 days ago

Image:The New York Giants' Willie Mays poses for a photo during baseball spring training in 1972. M...

Associated Press

Willie Mays, Giants’ electrifying ‘Say Hey Kid,’ dies at 93

Willie Mays, whose singular combination of talent, drive and exuberance made him one of baseball’s greatest players, has died. He was 93.

4 days ago

Image: This photo provided by the Washington Department of Ecology shows a derailed BNSF train on t...

Associated Press

Judge orders BNSF to pay Washington tribe nearly $400M for trespassing with oil trains

BNSF Railway must pay the sum to a Native American tribe in Washington after it ran 100-car trains with crude oil on the tribe's reservation.

5 days ago

Photo: In this photo provided by Tieanna Joseph Cade, an amusement park ride is shown stuck with 30...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people after they were stuck dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

5 days ago

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

7 days ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

7 days ago

Taliban announcement a clear sign girls returning to school