Following domestic and international reactions to the closing of schools for girls above the sixth grade, the Assembly of Religious Scholars in Afghanistan issued a statement calling for the lifting of all restrictions on girls’ education and the reopening of girls’ schools.
The religious scholars called the education of girls a fundamental right and urged the Islamic Emirate to reopen girls’ schools as soon as possible.
“According to the Sharia rules, a woman has full rights to study Sharia and modern sciences alongside a man. That is why we call on the Islamic Emirate to open the doors of education for girls and remove all obstacles in this regard,” the statement reads.
“Girls have the right to education, and the way should be paved for them. According to Islam, every Muslim has the right to education and it should be provided to him or her,” said a religious scholar.
“According to the ruling of Islam, there are no obstacles blocking the education of girls, and learning is the presumed right of every person, and girls should be given this right to be educated,” said Faiz Mohammad Zaland, a university lecturer.
Meanwhile, Yvonne Ridley, deputy of the European Muslim Union, in an exclusive interview with TOLOnews, expressed concern over the situation of girls’ education in Afghanistan. She said that in her meeting with the officials of the Islamic Emirate she asked for the reopening of secondary and high schools for girls as soon as possible.
“The senior girls’ schools opened then closed and this is something that I have raised with the Taliban leadership. So, they promised a great deal at a historic press conference that they gave when they assured the world that women’s rights would be observed,” she said.
In the meantime, in Berlin a number of Afghans living in Germany as well as German citizens protested against the closing of girls’ schools above the sixth grade and demanded the reopening of schools.
“We are with the girls of Afghanistan and I tell them that they will go to school as soon as possible,” said Afghan refugees in Germany.
Over two hundred days have passed since the closing of girls’ schools above the sixth grade in the country. The decision was met with widespread domestic and international reactions, and a recent meeting of envoys in Europe which included US and UK representatives issued a statement saying that the scope of continued aid to Afghanistan will be conditional on reopening schools for girls.
Meanwhile, the well-known human rights activist, Matiullah Wesa, founder of the PenPath campaign and advocate for girls’ education and education generally, called on the Islamic Emirate to reopen schools for female students above grade six.
Wesa created education opportunities for thousands of girls across Afghanistan within the last decade.
Wesa visited 20 of 34 provinces after the Islamic Emirate came into power, providing thousands of students with education resources.
“When the Taliban closed the schools for girls, I started visiting the provinces. I traveled to 20 provinces in Afghanistan. I met with many religious scholars and tribal elders and I told them that education is our human and Islamic right, and it is a wish of the people and has nothing to do with the international community,” he said.
Wesa’s PathPen mobilizes young volunteers to help reopen schools, aid with girls’ education, stock libraries, collect books and root out corruption in the education sector.
“We have 2,400 volunteers including 400 women and 2,000 tribal elders, clerics, youth and local people in all provinces of Afghanistan, particularly in the areas where there are no schools,” Wesa said.
This comes as women activists expressed their concern about the closing of schools for girls in grades 7-12.
“A society without education is dark, blind and incomplete,” said Monisa Mubariz, a women’s rights activist.—Tolonews