Lianne Gutcher: If the Taliban regains power, girls may lose an education

Many families will not allow daughters to attend school if the teacher is male

Share
Related Topics

Getting girls back to school was one of the top priorities for international donors and the Afghan government after the collapse of the Taliban in 2001. At that time, of the one million children in school, it is estimated that only 5,000 were girls.

Now, thanks to considerable efforts, girls' education is considered one of Afghanistan's few success stories. Of the 6.7 million pupils enrolled in school in 2010, 2.5 million were girls, according to the Afghan Ministry of Education.

However, more than half of all girls still do not attend school and barriers remain.

A problem is the lack of female teachers. Many families will not allow their daughters to attend school after they hit puberty if their teacher is male. Indeed, enrolment figures for girls fall at middle and high school levels.

Many husbands will not allow young wives to continue their education after their wedding. A 2011 report found that 17.3 per cent of girls aged 15-19 were married.

The deteriorating security situation also plays a significant part.

In 2008, there were 670 attacks on schools, including arson and the murder of teachers and students.

The Taliban is trying to show a softened stance in anticipation of inclusion in the Afghan government, as part of a negotiated peace settlement, ahead of the Nato pull-out in 2014. It claims it was not against girls attending school; just mixed schools.

But human rights advocates are concerned that if the group regains even a slice of power, girls' education will be one of the first things to be compromised.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Call Handler

£14500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a Sales Ca...

Recruitment Genius: Registered Manager

£33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This local charity has an oppor...

Guru Careers: Product Manager / Product Marketing Manager / Product Owner

COMPETITIVE: Guru Careers: A Product Manager / Product Owner is required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Content Curator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a mobile television network wi...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A young person in the UK is now twice as likely to be poor as a pensioner  

Britain is no country for the young – in jobs, income or housing

Ben Chu
LaGuardia Airport: a relic from a different, gentler age  

New York's LaGuardia Airport to be rebuilt: It could become the best gateway to America

Simon Calder
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'
Singapore's domestic workers routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals

Singapore's hidden secret of domestic worker abuse

David Cameron was shown the country's shiniest veneer on his tour. What he didn't see was the army of foreign women who are routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals
Showdown by Shirley Jackson: A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic

Showdown, by Shirley Jackson

A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic
10 best DSLRs

Be sharp! 10 best DSLRs

Up your photography game with a versatile, powerful machine
Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash