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Taliban occupation of Afghanistan affecting women’s education

By Duane Cruz, Staff Writer

The U.S. has had a long-winded, cross-millenia spanning occupation of Afghanistan; from Seal Team 6 assassinating terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden in May 2011, to more recent issues surrounding the newly established Taliban control over the country.

The U.S.’s decision of withdrawal from Afghanistan ended a nearly 20 year occupation of the country, as well as one of the longest wars that the U.S. has been involved in. Occupation first began after the attacks by militant Islamist terrorist group al-Qaeda on Sept.11, 2001. Now, after the bombing of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, the U.S. evacuation sought to retreat both military troops and threatened Afghans. This has left Taliban rule with sole power over the country. With this, many issues arise with the terrorist regime’s take on government.

Taliban control of the country could mean an end to a basic education for Afghan women. Since the initial overthrow of Taliban rule by the 2001, Afghan women have had the right to an education. Women who were educated were able to hold a wider range of professions than women under Taliban rule. New professions that women could pursue included those in business, medicine, law and government. Under current Taliban policies, women are unable to attend school.

“When schools reopened Saturday for grades seven through 12, only male students were told to report for their studies,” a New York Times article said. “The Taliban said nothing about girls in those grades, so they stayed home, their families anxious and uncertain about their future.”

For students, this is rather polarizing news. As current students undergoing the process of seeking higher education, many can’t imagine a situation in which they would be unable to continue their own learning.

“I think it’s definitely not good,” sophomore business administration major Stephanie Sheridan said. “Obviously women, children and everyone should have the right to go to school and do what they want. I personally haven’t heard a lot of media coverage on it. I wish there was more so I knew what was going on.”

Students are wondering why they haven’t heard more on this subject.

“I hear about [news] from Twitter and Instagram, and it’s just the way that young people get their news nowadays. On campus, we don’t have cable, so social media is how I usually get my news; trying to find a reliable source online is really difficult,” junior acting major Allison Vallario said. “Instagram and Twitter, and all of these clickbait [articles] are trying to draw certain crowds to certain opinions.”

Taliban spokesman and acting deputy minister of information and culture Zabihullah Mujahid said that they are working on providing transportation for a better educational environment, and that classes for women in grades seven and up should continue soon.

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