In the latest attack by hardline Islamists who oppose women's education, Taliban insurgents killed the headmaster of an Afghan school after he ignored warnings to stop teaching girls.
As the Guardian is reporting, Khan Mohammad, the head of the Porak girls' school in Logar province, was shot dead near his home on Tuesday. "He was killed because he wanted to run the school," Deen Mohammad Darwish, a spokesman for the Logar governor, is quoted as saying.
Mohammad is said to have previously received death threats from the Taliban warning him not to teach girls. His son was also wounded in the attack.
Having long been deemed "un-Islamic" by the Taliban, women's education was previously banned from 1996-2001. Although women have won back some rights, including education and the right to vote, since the Taliban were toppled by the U.S.-backed Afghan forces in 2001, there are still periodic attacks on teachers and school buildings against girls attending schools, Reuters is reporting.
A February report by advocacy groups including Oxfam and Care International found that 2.4 million Afghan girls were enrolled at school, but about 446,682, or roughly 20 percent, of those were considered long-term absentees who did not attend classes regularly. Those who did attend often faced obstacles such as open-air classrooms and journeys of up to three hours, as well as poor security, lack of funds and equipment and inadequate teacher training.