Kabul teacher and student long for return to class

For high school math teacher Shaima Samih, a return to Taliban rule was nothing less than an end to a fruitful career.

Many female employees like Samih have been unable to work since the Taliban took power in August.

After praying at her home in Kabul, Samih, the only provider for a family of seven, urges the Taliban government to open schools to female teachers and students - with a dire warning.

"If a female teacher who is the only breadwinner of her family, as well as other women who have such responsibilities, must stay in their homes and not work, what will the future be for them and their children? In that case, they will naturally turn to prostitution."

Taliban officials have said they won't replicate the fundamentalist policies of their previous rule, under which female education was banned.

They've promised girls will be able to study so long as classrooms are segregated.

Kabul student Marwa longs to return to class.

But girls in secondary school and above have not been allowed back and most educational institutions remain closed.

"After the Taliban came, they no longer allowed us to go to school, and we have an uncertain future. I dreamed of becoming an excellent doctor to serve my people, my country, and my family and work in the community, but now it's not clear what my future will be."

While the Taliban did not order schools to close after their takeover, it says many activities for women and girls aren't yet possible because of the security situation.

But last week, the Taliban said they would open schools for high-school-aged BOYS only, stirring skepticism about their promises to respect women's rights.

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