Girls struggle with internet as they turn to online classes

Sofia is one member of a growing stream of Afghan girls and women going online as a last resort to get around the Taliban administration’s restrictions on studying and working. Citing what they call problems including issues related to Islamic dress, Taliban officials have closed girls’ high schools, barred their access to universities and stopped most women from working at non-governmental organisations, reports Reuters.

The Taliban administration has allowed girls to study individually at home and has not moved to ban the internet, which its officials use to make announcements via social media. But girls and women face a host of problems, from power cuts to cripplingly slow internet speeds, let alone the cost of computers and wifi in a country where 97% of people live in poverty.

“For girls in Afghanistan, we have a bad, awful internet problem,” Sofia said. Her online school, Rumi Academy, saw its enrolment of mostly females rise from about 50 students to more than 500 after the Taliban took over in 2021. It has had hundreds more applications but cannot enrol them for now because of a lack of funds for teachers and to pay for equipment and internet packages, a representative of the academy said.
Full report on the Firstpost site