A coed elementary school was set on fire on Tuesday, and leaflets were distributed saying that girls should not be allowed to go to school. According to Reuters, this brings the total number of schools that have been attacked in the past year to more than 20. The leaflets distributed by the attackers also threatened teachers who taught girls, according to the Associated Press. Almost two years after the fall of the Taliban, most girls are still not in school.
Tuesday’s fire, as well as attacks on three schools in late August, took place between 30 and 40 miles south of Kabul. Currently, Kabul is the only city or province with members of the International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF). NATO assumed control of the 4,800-mmeber force in August. Even in Kabul, lack of security has led many women to continue wearing burqas out of fear.
Germany has recently announced that due to the lack of security in Afghanistan, it will deploy 250 troops in the northern city of Kunduz; however, this deployment is contingent on a United Nations mandate for expanding ISAF beyond Kabul, according to Radio Free Europe. Afghan President Hamid Karzai, UN Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi, German Chancellor Gerard Schroeder, the Feminist Majority, and women’s and human rights groups have repeatedly urged the US to support expansion of ISAF. The Feminist Majority is also leading the call for increased reconstruction funding and for more resources to support the work of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the Independent Human Rights Commission.