Taliban’s annual report fails to address right to education, work for females

For the past month, the Taliban’s ministries and departments have delivered daily reports on work done over the past year and in some instances, plans for the immediate future.

However, members of the public have said contrary to their expectations, the right to education and work of women and girls was not addressed and that they had hoped announcements to this effect would have been made.

“The accountability program of the government to the nation has ended; what we expected from the government has not been fulfilled; the work environment is not favorable for young people; schools have not been opened for girls; we expect the government to open the gates of universities,” said a resident of Herat.

“The doors of schools should have been opened for girls, because girls are one of the great assets of society; they are a part of society; they should also have created job programs for the youth,” said a resident of Herat.

However, journalists attending the daily press conferences repeatedly asked Taliban officials about when girls’ schools would reopen – a question reporters were uncomfortable asking. Such questions, according to some journalists, were answered with suppression.

“What should the Taliban account for? Everything is restricted in Afghanistan, women’s rights, freedom of speech, media freedom and all values for women and girls, including the right to education, are restricted. Accountability was also a symbolic process,” said Nusrat Mansour, a journalist.

A number of female students also said they are now even more disappointed after the Taliban failed to address the issue of schools and universities during this “accountability program”.

“As a student, I expected them to come and present the procedures for reopening universities, but they had nothing to say and remained silent,” said Mursal, a student.

“From what we heard to what we saw, it is very different. As a student, I am still unlucky, and our fate is not clear,” said Aziza Husaini, a student.

For the past month, the Taliban has held daily press briefings, with senior officials delivering their reports. However, key Taliban ministers including Mohammad Yaqub Mujahid, the Taliban’s acting defense minister; Sirajuddin Haqqani, the Taliban’s acting minister of interior; Neda Mohammad Nadim, the Taliban’s acting minister of higher education; and Habibullah Agha, the Taliban’s acting minister of education failed to deliver their reports. Instead, Taliban members associated with the ministries attended the press conferences.