Women and girls are becoming the most concerned about their safety and rights under the Taliban rule. The Taliban has always been opposed to the education of girls and women. But in the midst of all this, UN officials have given news of relief. Officials say the Taliban will soon announce the opening of secondary schools in several provinces to boost girls' education. UNICEF deputy executive director Omar Abdi, who visited Kabul last week, told reporters at the UN headquarters that the Taliban's education minister told him they were planning a plan to allow all girls to continue their schooling beyond the sixth grade. We are working on the outline, which will be published between one and two months.
He further said that five of Afghanistan's 34 provinces – Balkh, Jawajjan, and Samangan in the northwest, Kunduz in the northeast, and Urozgan in the southwest – are already allowing girls. Abdi said that as I am talking to you today, lakhs of girls of secondary school age are deprived of education for the 27th consecutive day. It is not right to wait any longer.
The UN official said that during the previous Taliban rule from 1996-2001, they denied girls and women the right to education and barred them from working and leading a public life. But now the Taliban is under increasing international pressure to ensure women's rights to education and work. The official said that in every meeting we put pressure on the Taliban to allow girls to resume their education. We called it important for girls and for the whole country.
UN official Abdi further said that in 2001, only one million children went to school in Afghanistan, but in the last 20 years, this number has now increased to 10 million, including 4 million girls. Whereas in the last decade the number of schools has increased from 6,000 to 18,000. But after the coming of Taliban rule, again the education of all these students is under threat.