Taliban bars female journalists from academic year ceremony in Kabul

The Taliban has announced a “significant” event in Kabul to mark the beginning of the new academic year in Afghanistan on Wednesday, March 20, but has requested that female journalists refrain from attending.

According to the Taliban-run Education Ministry, the ceremony will inaugurate the new educational year on Wednesday, coinciding with the first day of the new solar year.

Historically, the first day of the new solar year in Afghanistan was celebrated as Nowruz Day, despite this year’s educational focus.

In its media invitation, the Education Ministry specifically instructed female journalists not to attend the event, without addressing the ongoing issue of school access for girls above sixth grade.

As the Taliban prepares to launch the new school year, more than 1.2 million children in secondary education, or above sixth grade, have been unable to attend school for the past three years.