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One year on from Taliban takeover: Girls not allowed to return to school, women banned from showing faces Updated: 2022-08-16 09:07:10 KST

In Afghanistan.
The Taliban is taking the country precisely two decades into the past with regard to education for women and girls.
Kim Yeon-seung shares their plight.

This is 16-year-old Kerishma Rasheedi.
She dreams of becoming a journalist.

"I want to become a successful journalist in the future, I would love to serve my country, and education is my basic human right. I want to continue my education so I can convey the miseries of other women to the authorities."

But the basic right of a secondary school education has been out of her reach for almost a year.
Last August, the Taliban reclaimed authority over her country, Afghanistan.
After a swift, 10-day raid over the country, Taliban fighters took over the capital city of Kabul on August 15th to fully reclaim power.
Those who remembered the Taliban's rule from two decades ago worried that the Taliban authorities would repeat their reign of terror.
But the Taliban assured that things would be different this time.
They vowed to respect women's rights.
But their actions did not follow their words.
A month after their takeover, the Taliban ordered all boys and male teachers to return to schools.
Female classmates and teachers were not mentioned.
So the vast majority of schools have closed for girls.
And in March, the Taliban authorities banned secondary school girls from returning for the new semester.

"The damage will not however be limited to that generation of girls alone, Afghanistan as a whole is being denied the benefit of women and girls' contribution to society."

"The Taliban, with its extreme ideology that they have against women, have not changed, they are the same Taliban of 20 years ago, but we can't be the women of 20 years ago."

And in May, the Taliban ordered women to cover their faces in public - just like the nightmare from 20 years ago.
But this time, women are not staying silent.

"We'll raise our voices against every injustice until our last breath, we will stand against all the tyranny imposed by the Taliban on the people of Afghanistan, especially on women of Afghanistan."

Afghan women over the year have been staging protests, teaching at informal schools, and demanding their rights back - so that the progress made over the past 20 years is not completely lost.
Kim Yeon-seung, Arirang News
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