Malala Yousafzai talks to members of Afghan Girls Robotics Team Sadaf Hamidi (C) and Nahid Rahimi (L) at the Doha Forum on Saturday. AFP
The Afghan regime closed girls' secondary schools just hours after reopening them this week, prompting a small protest by women and girls in the capital Kabul.
"I think it was much easier for the Taliban (to enforce) a ban on girls' education back in 1996," Malala Yousafzai, who won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for her fight for all children's right to education, told the Doha Forum.
"It is much harder this time — that is because women have seen what it means to be educated, what it means to be empowered. This time is going to be much harder for the Taliban to maintain the ban on girls' education. "This ban will not last forever."
Malala Yousafzai talks to a member of Afghan Girls Robotics Team at the Doha Forum. AFP
The fundamentalist Taliban stopped girls from attending school during its rule of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, when it was ousted by the US-led invasion. It quickly returned to power as US forces withdrew last year.
The United States cancelled planned talks in Doha with the Taliban after the schools were shut this week.
Malala Yousafzai said girls' schooling should be a condition of diplomatic recognition for the Taliban. "They shouldn't be recognised if they didn't recognise the human rights of women and girls," she said.
Fawzia Koofi, former chairperson of Afghanistan's Women, Civil Society and Human Rights Commission, told the forum: "It's basically a genocide of a generation."
"How could anyone in this world in the 21st century... ban girls from education? I don't think the rest of the world, especially the Muslim world, should accept," she said.
To the Taliban authorities...reverse the de facto ban on girls' education and re-open girls' secondary schools immediately," Yousafzai and a number of Afghan women's rights activists said in an open letter published on Sunday.
"Today I have been heartbroken to see that the families are willing to sell their children to feed other family members,” Charles said. "So it’s the right time for the humanitarian community to stand up and stay with the people of Afghanistan.”
It was exactly a year ago that the American forces and the rest of the Nato forces packed their bags and left Kabul in undignified haste, and the Taliban walked back into the Afghan capital after 20 years. There was no resistance. The chaos that ensued has died down, of course. The Afghans who could flee did leave
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