US: School decision will affect Kabul’s bid for legitimacy

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The Islamic Emirate’s announcement of not allowing girls to attend school in grades 7-12 will have an “immediate impact on the Taliban’s ability to gain legitimacy and international political support,” said a spokesman for the US Department of State.

Speaking at a press conference, State Department’s Spokesman, Ned Price called on the Islamic Emirate to remain committed to their promises.

“They have acknowledged previously that all Afghan citizens have a right to education for the sake again of the country’s future and for the sake of its relations with the international community. We urge the Taliban to live up to their commitments to their people—to commitments they have made to the international community as well,” he said. “In line with that, it is just a fact that today’s announcement will have an immediate impact on the Taliban’s ability to gain legitimacy and international political support.”

The Islamic Emirate earlier announced that all schools would be opened for male and female students at all levels. But on Wednesday, female students above grade sixth were told to remain home until further notice.

The decision to not allow female students in grade 7-12 to attend their classes faced strong reactions, both on a national and international level.

The female foreigner ministers of 18 countries in a joint statement voiced their concerns over closing of schools for girls above grade sixth.

“We urge the Taliban to live up to their commitments to the Afghan people and to adhere to the international conventions that Afghanistan has subscribed to,” the statement read. “We call upon the Taliban to reverse their recent decision and to grant equal access to all levels of education, in all provinces of the country. Practical difficulties in implementing a non-discriminatory educational policy must be overcome.”

The Foreign Minister of Indonesia, Retno Marsudi, also in a statement called for the reopening of schools for girls’ students.

“Indonesia hopes that the Taliban can revisit this decision. Indonesia wil continue to promote women empowerment, particularly access to education for women and girls in Afghanistan,” she said.

The Islamic Emirate said it is making attempts to reopen secondary and high schools for girls as soon as possible.

“There is no point that the Islamic Emirate might have broken its promises. But regarding internal issues, the Islamic Emirate takes steps based on the values and interests of the country,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate.

This comes as the Norwegian mission at the UN said on Twitter that the United Nations Security Council will hold a conference on the closing of schools for Afghan girls.—Tolonews

 

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