Afghanistan's government has reportedly decreed that girls will only be allowed to sing at women-only events. The ban sparked outrage among social media users, many of whom said it resembled the Taliban's policies.
Afghanistan's Education Ministry is barring schoolgirls older than 12 from singing at public events, media reported on Wednesday.The reports come amid growing fears that the Taliban could regaining power in Afghanistan as the group negotiates a peace deal with the United States.
Schoolgirls older than 12 will only be able to sing at events that are "100% attended by women," according to a letter of the decision shared by the Kabul-based broadcaster Ariana News on Twitter.
A spokeswoman for the Education Ministry confirmed the letter's authenticity, adding that the decision applies to all provinces, Germany's DPA news agency reported.
In video message circulated by media, the spokeswoman, Najeeba Arian, said the decision was made after suggestions by students and parents.
Male singing teachers will also be prohibited from teaching schoolgirls, according to the Kabul Now news outlet. School principals would be responsible for implementing the ban, the report added.
The decision has sparked outrage on social media platforms as people compared the government's decision to the Taliban's ideology.Some Twitter users contested the ban by sharing old images and footage of young girls dancing and singing.
"It's not a good look on the Republic if they start emulating the same values as the Taliban," the journalist Ruchi Kumar wrote on Twitter as she shared a video showing girls singing on television.