Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Taliban versus Education

More and more we are hearing stories of young women being attacked on their way to school, or of schools being destroyed, all in a distorted effort to stop women living in regions dominated by the Taliban from accessing eduction. There is also an increase in attacks on professional women - again, in what surely seems to be an attempt to keep women in their place.

From the International News - ‘Crimes against women to be curbed’
"The culprits involved in throwing acid at Maria Shah, a young woman from Shikarpur, would be brought to justice and would not be allowed to go unpunished, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Sherry Rehman, said on Sunday. She was talking to the media after visiting the Burns Centre of the Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK).

The minister made it clear that heinous crimes of this sort would not be tolerated. She said that the government and the civil society would work jointly so that the culprit may not get any place to hide.Rehman said that the crimes against women would be dealt with an iron hand so that no one could dare commit such a crime. She said that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had also discussed the issue with her."

"Thousands of young women living in a part of Pakistan once considered the country's most idyllic tourist destination have been prevented from going to school after an order from Taliban forces which have seized control of much of the area.

Fearful of violent attacks that have already seen the torching of over 180 schools in the Swat Valley, school administrators have announced that more than 900 private schools will remain closed until the security situation improves. Government officials, struggling to organise adequate protection, have appealed to schools to extend their winter holidays until at least March. The future education of around 125,000 young women is uncertain as a result of the order, said to come into effect on January 15. "

"As with Afghanistan's Taliban, their Pakistani counterparts oppose education for girls. The militants also see schools as symbols of government authority and they say the army posts soldiers in them. Yousufzai said the destruction of 170 government-run schools in the valley had compromised the education of some 55,000 children."

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