EU envoy: Taliban won’t commit to reopening schools to girls

Islamabad, March 6, (dpa/GNA) – The Taliban authorities, have not given any pledge to reopen schools and universities for Afghan girls and women in the new school year, a senior EU official said in Kabul on Sunday.

The European Union special envoy for Afghanistan Tomas Niklasson, said he did not hear any “firm commitment” from Taliban ministers during his meetings.

“Opening the schools and universities to provide quality education to Afghan boys and girls, women and men, is not optional,” Niklasson said at a press conference. “It is a necessary investment in the future, in the next generation, in a better Afghanistan, and above all, it is an action, it is a request by all Afghans, we speak to.”

Since the the hardline Islamist group returned to power in August 2021, Afghanistan has become the only country in the world to deny women education.

The Taliban initially banned teenage girls from attending schools beyond grade six.

Then in December, university education for women was suspended until further notice. The Taliban cited what it claimed were violations of Islamic dress codes and co-education.

In addition, women were barred from many jobs including working with non-governmental organizations.

“This is a clear violation of the right of women to work, which impacts gravely on their ability to provide for themselves and for their families,” the EU official added.