Activist Malala Yousafzai said she fears for the future of Afghan women’s education two days after the Taliban seized control of the country.
Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012, opened up about the crisis in a New York Times essay published Tuesday, recalling how the Taliban banned girls from getting an education after invading her hometown in Pakistan in 2007.
‘Afghan girls and young women are once again where I have been — in despair over the thought that they might never be allowed to see a classroom or hold a book again,’ Yousafzai, 24, wrote.
Women’s rights activist Malala Yousafzai, 24, (pictured) said she ‘fears’ for the future of Afghan women Tuesday, after the Taliban seized control of the country Sunday.
The Afghan government surrendered to Taliban troops after storming into the US embassy and presidential palace in Kabul
Under Taliban rule, girls were banned from attending school, while women could only appear in public wearing full body coverings and accompanied by male escorts
Yousafzai, has been a long-time advocate for women’s rights to an education and was shot in the face by Taliban gunmen on a bus when she was 15.
She was the youngest person to win a Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for her advocacy.
Under Taliban rule, girls were banned from attending school, while women could only appear in public wearing full body coverings and accompanied by male escorts.
Women who did not faithfully observe the Taliban’s strict interpretation of Islamic law were publicly flogged or executed.
Some in the militant group have promised not to ban women from attending schools or work and to allow them into government. However, Yousafzai, said there have already been reports about Afghan women having their rights taken away.
‘One woman who runs schools for rural children told me she has lost contact with her teachers and students,’ Yousafzai wrote.
Yousafzai fears the Taliban will impose the previous regime’s religion-only education.
‘We need specific agreements that girls can complete their education, can study science and math, can go to university and be allowed to join the workforce and do jobs they choose,’ the activist added.
In addition, Yousafzai pleaded with regional powers to actively help ‘in the protection of women and children’ and for neighboring countries, like China, Iran and Pakistan, to allow refugees into their country.
Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai tweeted about her concerns regarding the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan after she was shot in the face on a bus by a Taliban gunman
Terrorist prisoners were released from Pul-e-Charki prison in Kabul after Taliban troops gained control of a former U.S. air base
Yousafzai fears the Taliban will impose the previous regime’s religion-only education
‘It is not too late to help the Afghan people — particularly women and children,’ Yousafzai wrote.
She added: ‘We will have time to debate what went wrong in the war in Afghanistan, but in this critical moment we must listen to the voices of Afghan women and girls.’
‘They are asking for protection, for education, for the freedom and the future they were promised,’ Yousafzai said. ‘We cannot continue to fail them. We have no time to spare.’
On Sunday she tweeted: ‘We watch in complete shock as Taliban takes control of Afghanistan. I am deeply worried about women, minorities and human rights advocates.
‘Global, regional and local powers must call for an immediate ceasefire, provide urgent humanitarian aid and protect refugees and civilians.’
The Afghan government surrendered to Taliban troops after storming into the US embassy and presidential palace in Kabul.
The Taliban then freed thousands of terrorist prisoners from the Pul-e-Charkhi prison located in the Bagram Air Base, one that formerly belonged to the US.
The release has raised concerns as the fear of terrorist groups rising again has struck a chord with government officials.
Mark Milley, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staffs, said in a phone call on Sunday that there will be a further assessment of the situation in Afghanistan in light of these concerns.
President Joe Biden announced that he is deploying troops to Afghanistan to ‘to make sure we can have an orderly and safe drawdown of US personnel and other allied personnel and an orderly and safe evacuation of Afghans who helped our troops during our mission and those at special risk from the Taliban advance’, according to CNN.
Biden also added that the troops would be coming home at the end of August, which has been supported and praised by Nancy Pelosi.
Similar to Yousafzai’s concerns, Pelosi also worries for the safety of women and girls under the control of the Taliban.
She told CNN: ‘The Taliban must know that the world is watching its actions. The U.S., the international community and the Afghan government must do everything we can to protect women and girls from inhumane treatment by the Taliban.’
9/11 widow and activist Terry Strada told Fox News: ‘I am sad, I am mad, I am angry for the Afghani people and I’m terrified for the world.’
Strada lost her husband Tom during the attack at the World Trade Center and has been an advocate for justice among another families affected by the 9/11 tragedy.
Former assistant secretary of state Robert Charles for George Bush also added that we will be seeing an ‘upsurge in terrorism’ after Biden decided to pull troops from Afghanistan and no ‘peace accord’ has been settled between us.
Former President George Bush first deployed US troops to Afghanistan in 2001.