Education news: In Afghanistan, the Taliban’s war on girls’ education continues to escalate. On March 23, high-school girls across the country were heartbroken to learn that they were banned from school. This decision was a shocking reversal of the Taliban’s earlier declaration permitting girls in grades 7-12 to return to classrooms at the start of the new school year. Already out of school for 8 months, many teenage girls feel their dreams of higher education and rewarding careers slipping away from them.
In late February, public universities in Afghanistan reopened for women and men. Yet, a shortage of professors (hundreds of whom fled the country to avoid persecution when the Taliban took power) and the Taliban’s insistence that female students do not stay in university dorms could make learning difficult, especially for female students from rural and remote areas.
Although they’re allowed back in classrooms, young women will be required to conform to a strict dress code and segregated from boys at school. With a lack of proper facilities and female teachers in most parts of the country (especially rural areas where CAI works), this restriction could prove challenging or even prevent women from returning to classrooms altogether.
Humanitarian news: Since the Taliban takeover in August, Afghanistan has been sinking deeper into poverty and economic crisis. As many as 95% of the country’s 38 million people don’t have enough to eat or money to buy food. The L.A. Times reports, a sack of flour costs nearly $28, and most Afghans are now below the poverty line, which means they earn $1.90 a day or less.
Women have mostly been banned from working outside the home since the Taliban took control of the country. This prevents them from earning income to support their families. Exceptions have been made in some regions, however, allowing women to work in the health and education sectors.