Taliban to women: You no longer have an excuse to leave home

A women’s class in Nangarhar, Afghanistan. Sept. 2022.

Following the Taliban’s move to ban women from getting a higher education and from working for NGOs, Taliban forces at checkpoints are telling women they now “have no excuse to leave their homes”.

In addition, tuition center officials have said they have been told by the Taliban-run government to suspend classes for women and girls.

Yasna Rahmani is among thousands of Afghan girls who have now been deprived of education in Afghanistan.

She said: “I wanted to go to the course (tuition center), but one of the Taliban checkpoints stopped vehicles and questioned girls, about where they were going? They (Taliban) took the girls down from the cars and told them: we have closed all educational centers for girls. Now you have no excuse to leave your home and I returned home with a broken heart and in tears.”

She added that the Taliban have also warned religious centers, Madrasas, to suspend classes for girls and women.

“In the Madrasa where religious subjects are taught, the Taliban warned our teachers: If I come again and see that the center is open, I will make all these girls marry my soldiers. While all the girls had observed hijab and we have done everything they said so far,” Rahmani said.

Afghan students, meanwhile, said that they had turned to tuition centers after the Taliban closed universities. But now the education centers have been closed to them.

Wida Mohammadi, another student, said: “I was going to [educational] center when faced the Taliban fighters on the street. They told me that I was not allowed to enter the center. We must practice our rights. Why are they doing this to us?”

Atiqullah Mehrban, head of a private tuition center, said that depriving women and girls of their right to education is a “violation of the fundamental rights of the country’s citizens.”

“We have been told that no more girls are allowed to come to the course and that they are barred from courses. The Taliban said that if we disobey their order, our educational center will be closed,” Mehrban said.

A number of families also raised concerns over the Taliban’s repressive decision against Afghan women.

“I have three daughters, and all of my daughters need to study. I am deeply saddened by the closure of the educational centers and I urge the Taliban to, please, open the educational centers for girls,” a resident of Kabul Khalid Ahmad said.

After the Taliban’s advance, they banned teenage girls from schools beyond grade six across Afghanistan. The Taliban imposed more restrictions including the ban on women wearing colorful clothes, the rule that women need to be accompanied by a male relative, and they barred them from parks, gyms, and public baths. In the latest move, the group banned female employees from working for non-government organizations (NGOs).