Afghanistan, schools for girls reopened in Herat after the 15-year-old’s appeal

Afghanistan, schools for girls reopened in Herat after the 15-year-old’s appeal
Afghanistan, schools for girls reopened in Herat after the 15-year-old’s appeal

“Today, as a representative of the girls, I want to send a message that comes from our hearts. We all know that Herat is a city of knowledge … so why do schools have to be closed for female students? ‘ It was October 21 when Sotooda Forotan, a 15-year-old student, took the stage for a speech at a public ceremony in Herat, western Afghanistan, on the anniversary of Prophet Muhammad’s birth. According to the program approved by the local authorities, he should have simply recited a poem. Instead, once on the microphone, he surprised everyone by launching his unexpected appeal to the Taliban to allow the girls to return to school: a heartfelt speech that had moved the approximately 200 present and soon went viral among Afghan social media users, returning fueling the battle against the mullahs’ ban on women’s education, which is permitted nationally only in primary schools.

A campaign that has now achieved a first result: the reopening of secondary and high schools for female students in Herat, the third largest city in the country. The return to class has already involved a few thousand students from the seventh to the twelfth year of studies, but according to the estimates of the local teachers’ association, the decision is destined to allow 250-300 thousand girls to return to school, considering that the population female education is about half of the million students registered by the authorities.

An outcome welcomed with enthusiasm by Sotooda: “I want to go to university and work,” explained the young activist, telling local media that her dream is to become the first Afghan foreign minister. In the rest of Afghanistan, however, despite the repeated promises of self-styled Koranic students, education is currently guaranteed only for primary school students. And in addition to the obscurantist policies of the mullahs, who said they did not want to authorize mixed classes either at school or university, the dramatic situation of public finances in Afghanistan, after the blocking of international aid: since the arrival of the Taliban to power, in August, the teachers report that they have not yet received even a salary.

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