‘Caught’ at fake women’s education meeting, Afghan women tear down flag

Published by: Giusab:

They thought of going to a Taliban meeting to discuss women’s right to education, but they were quickly disappointed. About 400 women, most of them in high school or university age, went to a sports hall in the city of Bamiyan on April 1, but found themselves at a meeting for the Taliban, without a single word about education. Some did not hesitate to show their anger by breaking a flag and asking to be heard.

Two of our observers were one of the women who attended this meeting. They said they were told by friends that it was an opportunity to discuss women’s rights to education in the presence of the Taliban governor in Bamiyan province. But when they arrived at the scene, they saw a large flag that read: “The Bamians support the Taliban”. Many women, according to our Observers, feel trapped.

The event comes two weeks after the Taliban’s abrupt change in girls ’access to secondary schools: middle and high schools are about to reopen on March 23 after a six-month closure, when the authorities announced the same day the suspension of the opening of the establishments, until the establishment of a plan “in accordance with Islamic law and Afghan culture”.

In Bamiyan, as in other parts of Afghanistan, girls over 13 years of age are not allowed to go to school. However, the presence of girls in different sections remains permitted in universities at present. Women in Afghanistan have repeatedly protested against the Taliban since they returned to power in August 2021.

>> READ ALSO ABOUT OBSERVER: The demonstration in Kabul was suppressed by the Taliban: “Even if you behead us, we will push”

“No school for girls, no support from us”

Adeleh (pseudonym) is a student at Bamiyan University.

We were told it was a meeting on women’s right to education. Many of us decided to go, most of the students or girls were of high school age.

But when I arrived, men and women sang slogans saying “we support the Taliban”. When women were asked why there was no discussion about women’s education, the Taliban told them to keep quiet and not stop the meeting. The women left the room to protest, but most of them stayed, thinking that maybe the issue of education would come up … but no.

Taliban representatives, however, gave speeches from 9 a.m. to noon. They said nothing about women’s education. After some of them protested, they finally allowed a woman to speak for the 400 or 500 women who were there. She said, “There is no support from Afghan women for the Taliban until they allow us to have access to education.” If he kept talking about our right to education, all the Taliban representatives would have gone, as it were.

The women were angry and lowered the flag saying “The Bamians Support the Taliban”. The other women in the stadium cheered them on.

This is a good lesson for the Taliban: they will know that Afghan women should not be tried again. Perhaps this will teach them that what most Afghan women say and want is not the same as what their puppets in black burkas say.

None of the women involved in the encounter were arrested on the same day, but on April 7, 11 participants were arrested.

Seifollah Mohammadi, head of the Taliban’s cultural bureau in Bamiyan, told Deutsche Welle’s Persian service: When the meeting ended, officials hurried back to work. After that, apparently there was an argument between those present and a flag was taken. ”

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