Protest in Afghanistan over ban on girls singing at public events

Posted on: March 18, 2021

“Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education appears to be backtracking on a decision to impose a nationwide singing ban on schoolgirls,” writes Stefanie Glinski in Tuesday’s (3/16) Guardian (U.K.). “In a letter to school boards last week, … Kabul’s Education Department said girls aged 12 and above would no longer be able to sing at public events, unless the events were attended solely by women. The letter also stipulated that girls couldn’t be trained by a male music teacher…. The announcement caused widespread outrage… In protest, women from across the country, including many prominent Afghan leaders, recorded videos of themselves singing and posted these on social media using the hashtag #IAmMySong. This week the ministry … said the letter did not reflect its position and that it would assess the issue. Ahmad Sarmast, the founder of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, who started the #IAmMySong campaign, urged the ministry to repeal the previous order … Women across Afghanistan express themselves through music, with many using it as a coping mechanism in times of violence and war. Many report receiving threats or being asked by their own families to stop.”