Taliban Replaces Ministry for Women with 'Guidance' Ministry
By: Annanya Rana
The staff of the World Bank’s $100 million Women’s Economic Empowerment and Rural Development Program, which was run out of the Women’s Affairs Ministry, were escorted off the grounds, program member Sharif Akhtar, who was among those being removed told AP.
On Friday, the Taliban’s education ministry instructed boys from classes six to 12 back to school, starting on Saturday, along with their male teachers. There was no mention of girls in those grades returning to school. Previously, the Taliban’s minister of higher education had said that girls would be given equal access to education, albeit in gender-segregated settings.
Female employees told they had been trying to come to work for several weeks, but only to be told to return to their homes. They also said that they had been locked out of the building. Hundreds of women activists protested outside Afghanistan’s Women’s Ministry.
“The Ministry of Women's Affairs must be reactivated”, said Baseera Tawana. One of the protesters outside the building said, “The removal of woman means the removal of human beings”. Another protester Taranum Sayeedi said that “You Cannot suppress the voice of Afghan women by keeping girls at home and restricting them, as well as by not allowing them to go to school, the women of Afghanistan today are not the women of 26 years ago. “
During the Islamists 1996-2001 rule, girls were not allowed to go to schools and women were banned from education and work. The Ministry for the promotion of virtue and prevention of vice is known for moral policing, enforcing its interpretation of the sharia that includes strict dress code and floggings.
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