The Taliban government in Afghanistan has now permitted girls of all ages to pursue education in madrassas across the country. This decision comes nearly a year after the Taliban-led government had imposed a ban on higher education for girls beyond sixth grade.
Confirmation from Taliban
- Mansor Ahmad, spokesperson for the Taliban’s education ministry, confirmed the news to the Associated Press (AP) on December 21. The minister clarified that there are no age restrictions for girls attending government-controlled madrassas.
- However, the current condition for girls is that they must be placed in a madrassa class corresponding to their age. Ahmad stated, "If her age doesn't align with her class and is too advanced, then she is not allowed. Madrassas follow similar principles as schools, where older women are not permitted in junior classes."
- Currently, Afghanistan has approximately 20,000 madrassas, of which 13,500 are under the administration of the Taliban government, while the rest are private madrassas operated from mosques or homes.
- The ban on girls' education beyond the sixth grade had drawn widespread criticism globally towards the Taliban. There were protests in Afghanistan, especially among women, who rallied outside closed university gates and schools.
- The prohibition on higher education was among several restrictions imposed by the Taliban government on Afghan women, including limitations on travel, park access, public appearances, and driving vehicles within the country.
- Following the departure of the US-led forces and the escape of former President Hamid Karzai from Afghanistan, the Taliban enforced their rules and regulations based on the Shariah system.