The Precarious Future of Female Education in Afghanistan

When the Taliban ruled Afghanistan in the late 1990s, the education of girls was completely prohibited. In the areas they controlled, young women were forcibly taken out of schools and colleges, banned from all areas of employment (with the exception of the medical sector), and forbidden to leave the house without a male relative. Failure to comply with these strict regulations would result in public beatings. The implication being, if you were a woman your sole purpose was reduced to serving your husband, beyond which duties you were to be completely invisible, with your voice repressed into silence.

In 1998, the organization Physicians for Human Rights, which conducted a three-month qualitative and quantitative study on the area, commented: “The Taliban’s edicts restricting women’s rights have had a disastrous impact on Afghan women and girls’ access to education. To PHR’s knowledge, no other regime in the world has methodically and violently forced half of its population into virtual house arrest, prohibiting them on pain of physical punishment from attending school.”

Fourteen years after the Taliban were driven from power following 9/11, what does a girl’s education in Afghanistan look like today? The short answer is: a lot better. Since the regime crumbled, the government erected many of the schools that had been destroyed and millions of girls in Afghanistan now receive an education.

Source: Vice. Date: March 19, 2015