Voice News

Founder of Afghan girls’ school project arrested in Kabul: UN

The founder of an Afghan project that advocated for girls’ education has been detained by Taliban authorities in Kabul, according to his brother and the United Nations on Tuesday.

Last year, the Taliban government prohibited girls from attending secondary school, making Afghanistan the only country in the world where education is prohibited.

“Matiullah Wesa, the head of PenPath and an advocate for girls’ education, was arrested in Kabul on Monday,” the UN mission in Afghanistan announced on Twitter.

Wesa’s brother confirmed his arrest, saying he was apprehended outside a mosque after evening prayers on Monday.

“Matiullah had finished his prayers and was leaving the mosque when he was stopped by some men in two vehicles,” Samiullah Wesa, an AFP reporter, explained. “When Matiullah asked for their identification cards, they beat him and forcibly removed him.”

Matiullah’s organization, which campaigns for schools and distributes books in rural areas, has long focused on communicating the importance of girls’ education to village elders.

West has continued to visit remote areas to rally local support since the ban on secondary schools for girls.

“We are counting down the hours, minutes, and seconds until the opening of girls’ schools.” “The damage that school closures cause is irreversible and undeniable,” he tweeted last week, just as the new school year began in Afghanistan.

“We met with residents and will continue our protest if the schools remain closed.”

Since storming back to power in August 2021, following the withdrawal of US and NATO forces that had backed previous governments, the Taliban have imposed an austere interpretation of Islam.

Taliban leaders, who have also barred women from attending university, have repeatedly stated that once certain conditions are met, they will reopen schools for girls.

They lack the funds and time to redesign the curriculum along Islamic lines.

Taliban officials made similar promises during their first five years in power, from 1996 to 2001, but no girls’ schools opened at that time.

The ban on girls’ education is thought to have been issued by Afghanistan’s supreme leader, Hibatullah Akhundzada, and his ultra-conservative aides, who are deeply skeptical of modern education, particularly for women.

It has sparked international outrage as well as an internal opposition, with some senior officials in the Kabul government as well as many rank-and-file members opposing the decision.

In deeply conservative and patriarchal Afghanistan, attitudes toward girls’ education are slowly changing in rural areas where the benefits are recognized.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *