No girls allowed! Taliban orders boys and male teachers to return to school

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No girls allowed! Taliban orders boys and male teachers to return to school

The Taliban have excluded girls from Afghan secondary schools, after they ordered only boys and male teachers to return to the classroom.

A statement from the Islamist group saying secondary classes would resume made no mention of girls or women.

One Afghan schoolgirl told the BBC she was devastated. “Everything looks very dark,” she said.

Despite Taliban promises it is the latest sign Afghanistan is returning to the harsh rule of the 1990s.

In another development, on Friday the Taliban appeared to have shut down the women’s affairs ministry and replaced it with a department that once enforced strict religious doctrines.

During their rule between 1996 and 2001, the Ministry for Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice was responsible for deploying so-called morality police on to the streets to enforce the Taliban’s strict interpretation of Islamic religious law, known as Sharia.

A statement issued ahead of Afghan schools reopening on Saturday said: “All male teachers and students should attend their educational institutions.”

Secondary schools are usually for students aged between 13 and 18. Most schools are also segregated, which would make it easy for the Taliban to close down schools for girls.

Schoolgirls and their parents said prospects were bleak.

“I am so worried about my future,” said an Afghan schoolgirl, who had hoped to be a lawyer.

“Everything looks very dark. Every day I wake up and ask myself why I am alive? Should I stay at home and wait for someone to knock on the door and ask me to marry him? Is this the purpose of being a woman?”

Her father said: “My mother was illiterate, and my father constantly bullied her and called her an idiot. I didn’t want my daughter to become like my mum.”