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Female students protest in Kabul against Taliban's ban on girls attending school

Kabul [Afghanistan]: Dozens of female students in Afghanistan's capital city of Kabul took to the streets demanding the Taliban regime to withdraw its decision to ban girls from attending school above the sixth grade. Chanting the slogans of "education is our absolute right," the protestors called for the reopening of schools for girls in grades 7-12 across Afghanistan, Tolo News reported. "We gathered today to voice this shared pain and to not allow a generation to be deprived of education," Monisa, a female rights activist who participated in the protest was quoted as saying. "I was going to study in grade 11, but unfortunately, when the Taliban came to power, our schools were closed. As the boys have the right to education, we girls also have the right," said Fatima, another student. The Afghan refugees in Pakistan and Ireland also staged protests in reaction to the closing of secondary and high schools for girls in Afghanistan. "When a woman is educated, she will help a family, a society and a country be improved," said a woman protestor in Ireland quoted Tolo News.The Taliban regime on Wednesday issued a decree banning female students above grade six from participating in their classes. The girls were further told to stay home until the Islamic Emirate announces its next decision. The decision by the Islamic Emirate has drawn severe backlash across the world with the Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Italy, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the High Representative of the European Union issuing a joint statement on Friday to condemn the Taliban's decision to deny so many Afghan girls the opportunity to finally go back to school. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) also condemned the decision calling the action "deplorable". The vast majority of girls' secondary schools were closed. Universities recently reopened, with new gender segregation rules. But many women are unable to return, in part because the career they studied for is now off-limits as the Taliban banned women from most of the jobs. According to HRW, women and girls are blocked from accessing health care as well. Reports suggest that women and girls facing violence have no escape route. Allowing girls into schools and other educational institutes has been one of the main demands of the international community. The majority of countries have refused to formally recognise the Taliban amid worries over their treatment of girls and women and other human rights issues.

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