Afghan girls call on boys to boycott university classes in solidarity

In an open letter addressed to male students and lecturers of universities across Afghanistan on Sunday, a group of female university students who are barred from attending, have called on them to boycott classes, as the Taliban has ordered the opening of universities only for male students on Monday.

“Dear male students of universities all over Afghanistan, we call on you to boycott the universities and teach the Taliban that when a nation decides, it can easily collapse the structure of a terrorist group,” the letter said.

After the Taliban banned university education for female students in December 2022, many male university lecturers resigned from their posts, and male students promised that they would not attend their university classes until the “universities are opened for our sisters.”

Reminding male students of their promise, the female students have called on them to live up to their commitment while appreciating them for joining the “Education for All or No One” campaign launched three months earlier in response to the Taliban’s ban.

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“The Taliban group has only invited you to come to the classrooms tomorrow, Monday, the 6th of March, after the Winter holidays. This is against our common aspirations to build a progressive, self-sufficient, free, and equal Afghanistan,” the female students maintained.

The female students said they had written the letter with “heart full of sadness and hope” and that millions of girls will be watching boys going to universities with “tearful eyes” on Monday.

In March 2022, the Taliban barred girls from secondary education, and in December of the same year, the group banned university education for female students. This ban ignited global condemnation and calls for its reversal, but the Taliban leadership only responded by imposing further restrictions on women’s rights.