Afghan girls recount suffering of 1,000 days without school


Girls above the sixth grade in Afghanistan have spoken out about the 1,000 days they have been deprived of education, describing this “long, dark” period as filled with pain and suffering. They urged the Taliban to reopen their schools and end the deprivation of basic rights for half of society.

These students characterized the 1,000 days as prolonged nightmares, causing significant mental distress and depression. They also called on participants of the upcoming Doha conference to address the ban on female education in Afghanistan.

The Doha meeting, scheduled for the end of this month, will gather envoys from around 15 countries to discuss the situation in Afghanistan and seek a collective approach. The students view this meeting as an opportunity to advocate for the rights of Afghan girls and women.

Expressing frustration over the Taliban’s repressive policies, the girls recounted the psychological pressure and uncertain futures they face. “It has been three years since we were banned from studying. We call on the Taliban and the international community to reopen the schools for us [girls],” said a Kabul resident.

Faheema Sadat, a student, shared, “I am very interested in teaching, and after the school doors were closed, I decided to teach literacy to girls.”


Human rights activists and students alike hope the Doha meeting will prioritize the issue of female education. “The international community, in cooperation with the Taliban, should provide opportunities for the education of girls and women in Afghanistan,” said Asifa Stanakzai, a civil activist.

Some students voiced concerns over the prolonged school closures, urging the Taliban to reopen them as soon as possible. “I was in grade six when I was banned from going to school. It has been three years and I have suffered a lot. I want to study and progress,” said Madina, a student.

Farida Rahmani, a teacher, lamented, “It is very unfortunate that schools are closed to girls above grade six. Afghanistan is moving backward.”

Human rights activists also criticized the international community’s engagement with the Taliban, stating that depriving girls of education is a clear violation of human rights. They argue that the continuation of the Taliban’s restrictive policies causes irreparable damage to Afghanistan. The activists emphasized that lifting restrictions on girls’ education and work should be a main agenda item at the Doha meeting.