Zalmay Khalilzad

Khalilzad urges the Taliban to lift bans on women and girls education

The former U.S. Special Envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, has called on the Taliban to set a reliable date for reopening schools and universities for girls and women in the near future. 

In a Ramadan message posted on Twitter, Khalilzad criticized the group’s policy of not allowing women and girls to attend schools and universities, saying “The Taliban should reflect on their treatment of Afghan women and girls and the implications of their policy for their country.”

“Not allowing them to attend high schools and universities is not only cruel, it also violates their rights under the tenets of Islam,” Khalilzad added. 

It was highly expected from the Taliban to open schools and universities to girls and women at the start of the new academic year, but it is yet to be fulfilled. In various provinces, schools have resumed their activities with the provision that only girls in primary school are allowed to attend. 

For more than 500 days now, girls above sixth grade have been instructed to wait until “further notice”, according to the group’s stance.