Education Inequality around the Globe: Taliban detain and abuses Afghan school girls for disobeying the hijab

Education Inequality around the Globe: Taliban detain and abuses Afghan school girls for disobeying the hijab

In the last week, girls as young as 16 have been detained for disobeying the Taliban’s prohibition on the headscarf in the Afghan capital of Kabul. The girls were accused of “spreading and encouraging others to wear a bad hijab” and wearing cosmetics. They were being held in shopping centers, classrooms, and street markets. Since seizing control of Afghanistan in August 2021, the Taliban have tightened restrictions on women’s access to public venues, work opportunities, and education. They announced in May 2022 that women were to cover their entire body, leaving just their eyes visible.
A young girl Lale (real name not being used for security purposes), 16, claimed that she was taken into a police truck by the Taliban after being detained in her English language lesson with several other girls. She claimed that although she was hit on her feet and legs for trying to negotiate with the guys, girls who faced them and refused to leave were beaten. Later, her father suffered severe beatings for “raising immoral girls.”
“I wore a face mask and wore modest clothing, as a precaution I had taken since the Taliban took over,” Lale added. “Yet they continued to beat me, claiming that my attire was inappropriate. “Lale, who spent two days and nights in detention, claimed that the Taliban had blasted them mercilessly for being unbelievers, for learning English, and for wanting to travel overseas.
Elders from the community intervened, and she signed a contract promising not to leave her home without covering her head. After that, she was released. Additionally, she is not allowed to attend her English classes.
“When the Taliban took over in 2021, I was banned from school, and I can’t even go to my private classes anymore,” the woman claimed. “Being at home and getting married is the only thing I can think of for the future. It was because I attended the [English] course that I witnessed my father’s severe beating. I was terrified I would lose him when I saw his pictures when I got home. After this, I’m not motivated to study. I don’t want to go through this again.

Less than a week had passed since the UN Security Council asked for the appointment of a special envoy to negotiate with the Taliban on issues pertaining to women’s rights and gender equality. However, the Taliban opposed this idea, arguing that imposing outside remedies would make matters worse.

“The arrests of women in Afghanistan are a further crackdown on the basic rights of women and can be intimidating and put more pressure even on women who are still working in the health, primary education, and nutrition sectors, and they would not appear in public as they used to,” stated Fereshta Abbasi, a researcher at Human Rights Watch, a New York-based organization.

Another female Afghan activist, who wished to remain anonymous, uploaded images and videos of men and women protesting in Kabul’s Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood. The posters encourage people to live “beautiful lives” by “promoting and observing proper hijab.”

The activist, who was present at the demonstrations, clarified that the families of the inmates were requesting the women’s release and trying to stop more community arrests.

We must all understand that education is equal for both genders and in all parts of the world. As a Pakistani we must also make it a must that our young girls are educated as they deserve to be.