Education International

ATROAfghan Teachers' Rights Observatory

The Situation in Afghanistan

Afghanistan is going through a humanitarian catastrophe following the Taliban’s seizing of power on 15th August 2021. The financial freeze, the ban on schools, the closure of the borders, and continuous tackling and tracking of teachers, activists and human rights’ defenders in the country, has forced many to flee their beloved land for better living conditions and a peaceful future.

The arrival of the Taliban with promises of new and progressive ideologies, was received with reluctance and worry by the international community yet with a glimpse of hope in some quarters. After over a year in power, the Taliban continues to conduct its business as usual. The first order of business has been to ban schools and education institutions from operating and leaving 10 million students, especially girls, deprived of their right to education as well as a brighter future. Teachers have been the target of systematic government attacks on education. Primary education has (sporadically) resumed for both girls and boys. Secondary education has resumed for boys, while girls’ secondary education has reportedly started to resume in some provinces. Many women teachers have lost their jobs and their livelihoods as they are only allowed to teach girls.

The Taliban’s attack on girls’ and women’s rights has been relentless. Despite promises to open secondary schools for girls, this is yet to happen. To make matters worse, the Taliban, in December 2022, banned women from attending higher education institutions and from working in NGOs. The repercussions of these policies will be devastating for generations of girls and women in Afghanistan.