PARIS (AP) – When the Taliban regime came to power in Afghanistan, UNESCO warned Friday of the dangers of education, especially for girls and women.
A new report by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has found that enrollment has increased tenfold in 20 years since a US-led force forced the Taliban into power while Afghan women are learning to read.
When there were no girls in primary school in 2001, there were 2.5 million in 2018, the report said. Girls now represent 40% of primary school students in Afghanistan.
“The vulnerability in Afghanistan is critical to its educational viability,” said Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO chief executive.
According to reports, half of Afghanistan’s currency is dependent on foreign aid, which could be reduced now that the Taliban are in power. UNESCO also fears a ban on inclusive education and men should educate women, which “could seriously affect women’s participation in higher education and higher education for girls, which could jeopardize their lives, their jobs and their citizens.”
Taliban leaders say women and girls should be able to go to school and work according to Islamic law – without giving too much – just as some party members have criticized the idea of merging classrooms and suggesting what they can do.
In August, The Associated Press spoke with Sagly Baran, an 18-year-old Afghan woman who has scored the most goals in Afghanistan on his university entrance exams this year.
“I’m not scared right now, but I’m worried about my future,” Baran told The Associated Press in an video interview with Kabul. “Will they let me study or not?”