Taliban kill Afghan girls' school headmaster - AlertNet
Afghanistan has a female literacy rate of 12.6 percent, the lowest of any country in the world, according to the 2009 United Nations Human Development Index
LOGAR, Afghanistan, May 25 (Reuters) - Taliban gunmen killed the headmaster of a girls' school near the Afghan capital after he ignored warnings to stop teaching girls, government officials said on Wednesday, the latest attack by hardline Islamists who oppose education for women.
Education for women was banned by the Taliban government from 1996-2001 as un-Islamic and there are still periodic attacks against girls attending schools, teachers and school buildings.
Women have won back some rights since the Taliban were toppled by U.S.-backed Afghan forces in late 2001, including education and the right to vote.The Afghan government and its Western backers have pledged to guarantee those advances, although the promise seems precarious as Afghan leaders begin a reconciliation process that includes talks with the Taliban.
Development agencies fear that Western governments are focusing too heavily on plans to complete a security handover from foreign forces to Afghans by the end of 2014 without cementing gains for women such as education. Girls have returned to schools in recent years, particularly in the capital, Kabul, although such rights are harder to enforce in the more remote and conservative areas of Afghanistan.
Khan Mohmmad, the head of the Porak girls' school in Logar province, about an hour's drive from the capital, Kabul, was shot dead near his home on Tuesday, said Deen Mohammad Darwish, a spokesman for the Logar governor.