Afghan female students hope for school reopenings following Doha meeting


DOHA, Qatar — Female school and university students in Afghanistan are hopeful that participants in the Doha meeting will urge the Taliban to reopen their schools and universities.

These students expressed their frustration and despair over being deprived of education and having to wait at home for more than 1,000 days. Sana, one of millions of girls affected, was in the ninth grade when the Taliban banned girls from attending school. Now, instead of being in university, she is battling depression as schools for girls above sixth grade remain closed.

Sana has placed her hopes on the Doha meeting, urging the international community to pressure the Taliban into reopening schools for girls. “The international community should prioritize the reopening of universities and schools at the Doha meeting. They must pressure the Taliban to allow girls to continue their education and not fall behind,” she said.

The students emphasized that half of Afghanistan’s population is being deprived of their rights due to the Taliban’s suppressive policies. Many citizens also see the reopening of schools and universities as crucial for the country’s progress, believing that Afghanistan needs educated women and girls.

“Schools must reopen. Our sisters need to study. It is a societal need. Learning is obligatory for both men and women; girls should not be deprived of education,” said Obaid, a resident of Parwan.

It has been 557 days since universities closed, preventing girls from pursuing higher education. Somaya, 21, was in her fifth semester of university when the Taliban banned female students from attending classes. She described the severe hardships she has faced since then.

“If we could study, we could get a job. Currently, we face economic problems because there is no work, no jobs, and many economic difficulties,” she said. “If we had jobs, we wouldn’t be facing these problems. The Doha meeting should prioritize the right of girls to education.”

Recently, for the second consecutive year, the Taliban banned girls from taking university entrance examinations, which were held exclusively for male students.