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Lessons in Equality

Lessons in Equality: The fight for women's education in Afghanistan
2 min read
13 May, 2022
The New Arab Voice is our bi-weekly podcast bringing you compelling stories from the Middle East, North Africa and beyond.

Any hopes that the Taliban in Afghanistan had softened in their hardline attitudes were quickly dispelled when, on 23 March, 2022, they announced that girls would not be permitted to attend school. 

The sudden u-turn by the Islamist group was a devastating blow to the thousands of young girls who had hoped they would be given their fundamental right to attend school and secure a vital education. 

Today, almost 80 percent of girls in Afghanistan are out of education. 

Following the ban, the Taliban gave no real justification, only saying that the education of girls must be according to "Islamic principles".

On this week's episode of The New Arab Voice, we explore the Taliban's ban on educating girls. 

Why did the Taliban make a sudden policy u-turn? How has the education ban affected young girls in Afghanistan? What can be done to get girls back in classroom? And how can the international community work with the Taliban, without giving the hardline group financial support?

Featuring interviews with Heather Barr (@heatherbarr1), associate director of the Women's Rights Division at Human Rights Watch, and Weeda Mehran (@WeedaMehran), Afghan lecturer at the University of Exeter with expertises in conflict prevention and peace in Afghanistan. 


This podcast is written and produced by Rosie McCabe (@RosieMcCabe3). The executive producer is Hugo Goodridge (@hugogoodridge). Theme music by Omar al-Fil (@elepheel). 

Other music by Blue Dot Sessions.

To get in touch with the producers, follow then tweet us at @TheNewArabVoice or email