In open letter to Taliban, Malala urges Afghanistan's new rulers to let girls return to school

Published October 18, 2021
This file photo shows Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai. — Reuters/File
This file photo shows Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai. — Reuters/File

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Pakistani Taliban as a schoolgirl, has urged Afghanistan's new rulers to let girls return to school.

It has been one month since the Taliban, who seized power in August, excluded girls from returning to secondary school while ordering boys back to class.

Read: Afghan girls stuck at home, waiting for Taliban plan to re-open schools

The Taliban have claimed they will allow girls to return once they have ensured security and stricter segregation under their interpretation of Islamic law — but many are sceptical.

“To the Taliban authorities [...] reverse the de facto ban on girls' education and re-open girls' secondary schools immediately,” Yousafzai and a number of Afghan women's rights activists said in an open letter published on Sunday.

Yousafzai called on the leaders of Muslim nations to make it clear to the Taliban that “religion does not justify preventing girls from going to school”.

“Afghanistan is now the only country in the world that forbids girls' education,” said the writers, who included the head of the Afghan human rights commission under the last US-backed government Shaharzad Akbar.

The authors called on G20 world leaders to provide urgent funding for an education plan for Afghan children. A petition alongside the letter had on Monday received more than 640,000 signatures.

Education activist Yousafzai was shot by militants from the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, an offshoot of the Afghan Taliban, in her home town in the Swat valley while on a school bus in 2012.

Now 24-years-old, she advocates for girls' education, with her non-profit Malala Fund having invested $2 million in Afghanistan.

Opinion

Editorial

02 Dec 2021

Funding for polls

THE PTI government’s autocratic mentality is again on full display, even as it feigns adherence to the law....
02 Dec 2021

Soaring prices

PRICES are surging. And they are increasing at a much faster pace than anticipated, burdening millions of...
Ali Wazir’s bail
Updated 02 Dec 2021

Ali Wazir’s bail

IT has been a long time coming, but MNA and Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement leader Ali Wazir has finally been granted bail...
Covid funds controversy
Updated 01 Dec 2021

Covid funds controversy

A COMPREHENSIVE and detailed report by the auditor general of Pakistan on the utilisation of Covid-19 funds by the...
01 Dec 2021

Sindh LG law

THE Sindh Local Government Act, 2013, introduced by the PPP to roll back the Musharraf-era local bodies system in ...
Monster of circular debt
Updated 01 Dec 2021

Monster of circular debt

The crisis facing the energy sector cannot be tackled sustainably without taming the many elephants in the room.