The Taliban have blamed Afghan parents, saying parents of students refuse to let their daughters go to school under the current conditions. “You don’t need to ask me the same question if I ask how many people in this mosque want to send their 16-year-old daughter to school, you and I both grew up in the same Afghan society,” said acting Education Minister Noorullah Munir during a visit to Uruzgan province.
They asked the current government to reopen girls’ schools as soon as possible. “I think the minister came from Kabul and can’t represent our people, people in Uruzgan want their daughters to go back to school, and they used to go to school before,” said Uruzgan resident Mohammad Wali Samsur. “The schools that were closed must be reopened as soon as possible because this is the demand of the people,” said Javed Khabulak, acting education minister. Schools are closed to female students over the sixth grade due to cultural constraints, but he stressed that if a better environment is created, the schools will be opened.
Dozens of girls took to the streets in the center of Paktiya to protest the closure of their schools. Videos of the protests were circulated on social media and elicited strong reactions from the Afghan public as well as politicians and famous human rights defenders. According to the Bloomberg News Agency, US agency, many human rights and education activists urged world leaders in a recent open letter to exert diplomatic pressure on the Taliban to reopen secondary schools for girls in the war-torn country. The activists said that girls and women will not give up their aspirations, as it has been nearly 300 days since they were released from school and forced to stay home. International leaders and organizations in the world were urged to take serious measures to protect the right of Afghan girls, especially in order to fulfill their commitments to education the Taliban leadership.