Skip to content Skip to footer

‘When I See The Boys Going To School, It Hurts’ – Afghanistan Girls’

Habiba and her former classmates Mahtab and Tamana are among hundreds of thousands of teenage girls who have been barred from attending secondary school in most of Afghanistan by the Taliban – the only country to take such action.

“Every day I wake up with the hope of going back to school. They [the Taliban] keep saying they will open schools. But it’s been almost two years now. I don’t believe them. It breaks my heart,” says 17-year-old Habiba. She blinks and bites her lip trying hard not to tear up.

One-and-a-half years since their lives were brought to a halt, their grief is still raw.

The girls say they fear that global outrage over what’s happened to them is fading, even though they live with the pain every day – intensified this week when another school term started without them.

“When I see the boys going to school and doing whatever they want, it really hurts me. I feel very bad. When I see my brother leaving for school, I feel broken,” says Tamana. Her voice trembles and tears roll down her cheeks but she goes on.

“Earlier, my brother used to say I won’t go to school without you. I hugged him and said you go, I’ll join you later.

“People tell my parents you shouldn’t worry, you have sons. I wish we had the same rights.”

The first restriction of women from Afghanistan schools came in December 2021, when the Taliban ordered that women would have to be accompanied by a male relative if travelling more than 72km (48 miles).

However, In March 2022, the Taliban government announced that secondary schools would reopen for girls, only to close them within hours. Less than two months later, a decree was passed that women would have to wear clothing that covered them from head to toe, including a face veil.

In November 2022, women and girls were barred from parks, gyms and swimming pools. Girls were no longer allowed to choose subjects such as economics, engineering and journalism at university.

A month later, the women woke up with a shocking news of knowing they no longer have access to universities. The universities became closed to female students, and women were banned from working in domestic and international NGOs except those in the health sector.

Show CommentsClose Comments

Leave a comment