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  • › Afghanistan: When a song is not just a song

    29/Mar/2021

    GILLIAN HOWELL SUSANNE SCHMEIDL JAWED NADER

    A move to prohibit girls singing was met with a big backlash on social media – a sign of the times, old and new.

    A recent ban on girls’ public singing has demonstrated the continuing struggle between modernising and conservative forces in Afghanistan. Speculation on social media suggested it might also be a sign of the government testing the public mood of what rights it is prepared to sacrifice in order to appease the Taliban as part of the ongoing ”peace” negotiations.

    In a remarkable turn of events, a coordinated social media backlash led to a reversal a mere three days later by the Ministry of Education (MoE), which had issued the ban. The reaction showed a vibrant civil society that is quick to mobilise, ready to fight for the rights they cherish and willing to hold government to account. Read more...