'Working hard' to re-open girls' high schools: Taliban

The Taliban say they have changed since their 1996-2001 rule, when they barred women from leaving home without a male relative and shuttered schools for girls, but they stirred skepticism when they said last week that they would open schools for high school-aged boys but not girls.

"The Ministry of Education is working hard to provide the ground for the education of high school girls as soon as possible," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told reporters at a news conference in Kabul. Younger girls in primary schools have already resumed studies in segregated classes.

Amnesty International on Tuesday released a briefing on the deterioration of human rights since the Taliban took over, saying some women's rights were under threat while protests on the matter had been violently suppressed.

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