A Taliban gathering comprising thousands of religious and ethnic leaders from across Afghanistan was held to discuss the reopening of girls’ schools, without a single woman.
In the first such meeting since the group took over the country in August last year, Sayed Nassrullah Waizi, from central Bamiyan province, called for the schools to open and said: “They [girls] will learn and will be a good guide for their children in society.”
It is, however, not clear how a decision on the issue might be reached.
Earlier in March, the group had backtracked on their announcement that high schools would open for girls and said that the schools would remain closed until a plan is drawn up in accordance with Islamic law for them to reopen.
The announcement had left students in tears and drawn condemnation from humanitarian agencies, rights groups and diplomats.
In October last year, Antonio Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations, had condemned the Taliban’s “broken” promises to Afghan women and girls and appealed to the group to fulfil their obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law.
“Broken promises lead to broken dreams for the women and girls of Afghanistan,” the UN chief had said.
“Women and girls need to be in the centre of attention.”