Women’s education should be a choice not a decision.

Jennifer Ramirez, Editor in Chief

Every minute, every second, and every day there’s a problem going on around the world. Why aren’t women getting the education they want? It’s the 21st century and women are still being held back from something as simple as education.  

The Taliban, an ultraconservative political and religious faction, took over again in Afghanistan on August 15, 2021. At the time their leaders said that girls would continue to be permitted in schools, although secondary school was closed for girls. 

Girls in secondary school were supposed to return to school on March 23, 2022, but when they showed up in their uniforms the girls were told to go back home and not come back until the Taliban decided on a new uniform rule. 

The girls protested and said they were already wearing baggy clothes. It has gone as far as the girls saying they’ll wear anything to get the education they’ve been desperately waiting for.  

When the Taliban was defeated in 2001, girls returned to school but faced sexual harassment. The lack of women teachers didn’t help the young girls. It goes back to the point where if the Taliban would’ve let women get their education, sexual harassment wouldn’t have been an issue since there would be more female teachers rather than having males teach girls. If women were allowed to learn and obtain diplomas, there would have been larger amounts of women with jobs, including teaching jobs, that would have helped the community and economy. 

Back to 2021, when the Taliban took over Afghanistan once again, many countries who supported Afghanistan withdrew from providing financial aid. The Taliban’s action not only affected those within the country but it’s economy, according to the United Nations Development Program. The international community froze Afghanistan’s assets which led 90% of the people into poverty and starvation. 

Countries like the United States have made it clear that girls should be getting their education. At the end of the day, the U.S. and other western countries can speak out and provide information about education, but the choice is made by the Taliban. They control Afghanistan and are the only ones who can create change by giving rights to women. Afghan citizens may want to speak out but are inflicted with fear.  

Malala Yousafzai spoke out about the incident on March 23. The now-24-year-old survived being shot in the face by the Taliban when she was 15 years old. She was shot because she advocated for girl education. Two years later, in 2014, she won the Nobel Peace Prize and continues her activism to this day.  

They will keep finding excuses to stop girls from learning – because they are afraid of educated girls and empowered women,” Yousafzai said in a statement. 

It’s 2022 now, there is no reason for women to be treated differently from men. Blaming everything else including religion is pure nonsense. If anything, being so proud of one’s religion should only increase happiness and provide a safe clear path for one’s way in life, including education. 

@uusc4all via flicker: Girls pictured learning on December 11, 2011,10 years after the Taliban’s fall.