Men are not allowed to teach girls, girls are not allowed to study with boys
There has not been a lot of news from Afghanistan lately. The events around Iraq and North Korea pushed all other news into the background, including Afghanistan news. Yet, there are very interesting events going on in the former Taliban patrimonial estate. Afghanistan currently works on its Constitutions, which looks like the set of Taliban rules.
The idea of the new Afghan Constitution did not come up yesterday. The interim government of the country announced about it on December of 2001. The members of the cabinet of ministers unanimously voted for the development of the new Afghan Constitution on the base of the Royal Constitution of 1964. The Royal Constitution was approved in 1964, when Dr. Muhammad Yusof was the Prime Minister of Afghanistan. The era of his ruling was called the democratic period. The Constitution of 1964 fixed equal rights for men and women, Shariat laws were null and void. It was Yusof, a follower of democratic grounds, who insisted on the introduction of such things in the Afghan Constitution as freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of demonstrations and freedom of political parties. However, the creators of the new Constitution preferred to get rid of its major democratic paragraphs. There was rather a vehement dispute during the conference of the representatives of the Afghan civil society. The conference took place last year in Germany.
The new Constitution does not stipulate the separation of religion and state. Chairman of the constitution committee, Musa Marufi stated that it was out of the question. Other members of the committee said that the Constitution did not contain a paragraph about equal rights for men and women. This made the participants of the conference rather indignant. A participant of the conference claimed that the same things could be said by Mullah Omar. Chairwoman of the Kabul union of lawyers, Soraia Paikan, stated that the new Constitution was supposed to guarantee equal rights for men and women.
The argument still continues, although the stand of those, who wish to turn Afghanistan into a secular state, has been shaken. At first, the new government neglected the paragraph pertaining to the freedom of political parties. The activity of the communist party has been banned in the country. Boys are not allowed to go to school with girls in the western Afghan province of Gerat. Men are reportedly not allowed to teach girls, not even in private schools. Girls are actually deprived of their right for education, since there are not many female teachers there. This ban has been instituted on the ground of the contradiction in the Islamic canons, which say that men can not teach women and girls. Such severe prohibitions existed during the Taliban regime. Talibs did not allow women to study at all. Until recently, girls liked to attend foreign language and computer classes in the Gerat province. The classes were taught by men. Now girls are not allowed to go there.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
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