Rights Group Says Dress Restrictions Tighten for Girls’ Schools in Afghanistan

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Thursday said that Taliban have imposed  extremely harsh dress codes for Afghan girls schools and broke their promises to reopen all schools in March.

According to the  HRW report, the Taliban instituted a de facto ban on girls’ secondary education, even though community pressure resulted in some girls’ secondary schools reopening in about nine provinces zfter seizing power in August last year.

“But Balkh province in northern Afghanistan was unique – girls’ secondary schools have remained open since the Taliban took power,” the HRW said in a statement and that the open schools in Balkh and elsewhere have been threatened with closure “if they refuse to comply with increasingly harsh dress codes.”

The HRW said that the Taliban closed one Balkh school for several days after some students had their faces uncovered. “A school official shared a voice message from a Taliban official demanding that a principal fire a teacher for her immodest dress. One school now has a teacher assigned to prevent vice and promote virtue,” the statement said..

“The requirements on Hijab are getting tougher day by day,” a teacher, who spoke about the mandatory Muslim headscarf, told HRW.

According to the teacher, whose name is not revealed by HRW, said that Taliban have spies to “record and report.” “We will get fired if we don’t follow their strict Hijab rules,” the teacher lamented, adding that students should also be expelled from the classes if they don’t observe Hijab.

The HRW said that the teacher shared a photo of her school’s assembly, in which students and teachers all “wore uniforms allowing only their eyes to show.”

A student said that all the girls in her  school believe the Taliban authorities want to make it so harsh and strict on us that we give up on education on their own.

The student said that she and her classmates are still determined to study and will not let this decision to prevent them from pursuing education.

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